RYANAIR is facing ‘enforcement action’ by The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) after refusing to pay passengers compensation for flight disruptions after employee strike action.
The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) allege the budget airline has rejected compensation claims following disruptions to their flights.
The CAA claim Ryanair has ended its agreement with AviationADR which aimed to source an alternative resolution to resolve passenger complaints.
Ryanair have gone on record to state the disruptions were due to ‘extraordinary circumstances’.
However, The CAA does not accept that recent strike action qualifies for exemption.
The CAA is of the opinion that passengers affected by disruptions during the strike action should be compensated by the airline.
The aviation watchdog has stated that compensation payouts of at least 250 euros are mandatory according to EU law.
EU legislation states that this minimum compensation must be payed to short-haul passengers when flights are cancelled without two weeks of prior notice.
It is alleged in 2018, 100,000 passengers have been affected by strike action surrounding the airline, due to both the Ryanair pilot and cabin crew strikes and also the Europe wide Air Traffic Control industrial action that took place this year. were hit by the strikes.
Ryanair staff in Spain arranged a 48-hour walkout earlier this year, striking for increased pay, fairer working conditions, larger pensions and better job security.
According to the CAA, ‘extraordinary circumstances’, such as bad weather or air traffic controller strikes are viable excuses not to compensate disrupted passengers. However, as the industrial action and disruption was caused by Ryanair’s employees, the airline arguably cannot attribute ‘extraordinary circumstances’ to the delays.
Ryanair passengers with existing claims with the airline will now face a waiting period until the outcome of the CAA’s enforcement action is revealed.
Since the summer of strike action and disruption, Ryanair has been making efforts to reach agreements with several unions across Europe to address wage and benefits concerns.
A spokeswoman for Ryanair added:
“Courts in Germany, Spain and Italy have already ruled that strikes are an “extraordinary circumstance” and EU261 compensation does not apply. We expect the UK CAA and Courts will follow this precedent.”
Additionally, it should be noted that a Barcelona Court decision in October 2018 declared no compensation is due to customers whose flights are cancelled due to an internal strike.
Airline Lufthansa were not forced to compensate passengers according to EU261 legislation when pilots’ striked for 15 days this year.
No action was taken against British Airways during industrial action last year