Giambrone has received a number of enquiries relating to the current debacle surrounding the Irish budget airline Ryanair’s handling of the volume flight cancellations due to “confusion in the pilots’ holiday calendar”. The Irish airline announced a 2% reduction in scheduled flights until the end of October, leading to 400,000 bookings being cancelled within a six week period.
It appears that Ryanair has breached EU law as it has failed to tell customers whose flights have been cancelled about some of their rights to compensation under European legislation. The airline is legally required to spell out compensation rules which apply when a flight cancellation occurs and we have reason to believe that it has so far failed to do so, resulting in passengers hunting around for information or being left unaware of full their entitlement to compensation. Many passengers attempting to access the Ryanair website to complete the online form to claim for compensation are facing a range of glitches from constant requests for account verification and password change to being provided with a customer reference that does not work. Important family holidays are being ruined and some of the “lucky” passengers who manage to get a replacement flight are being charged again for services which they have already paid for in the original booking.
We understand that more than 315,000 passengers have been affected by the flight cancellations, and in light of Ryanair’s failure to organise alternate flights and/or to issue refunds and compensation as prescribed by EU law, we are considering taking legal action against the Irish airline on behalf of the European passengers who have been affected by this Ryanair chaos, to protect their rights and provide the weight of a volume legal action which will have the effect of focusing Ryanair’s attention and force them to deal with the claims sooner rather than later, as opposed to individuals attempting to resolve the problems on their own.
There are clear rights set out according to EU Regulation 261/ 2004 for airline passengers who have been placed in this position by Ryanair. They are entitled to compensation in the event of flight delays and cancellations. This also applies to over-bookings and bumped flights. Airlines are also obliged to provide clear written notice to customers of their right to compensation, and how to claim.
The flight must be departing from an EU airport and operated by any airline or arriving at an EU airport and operated by an EU airline.
At a recent press conference, Ryanair has said that it has set aside up to 20million Euros (£18million) in compensation following the fiasco, however some estimates from the insurance sector contend that this will be woefully short of the actual figure that will be needed. Whilst Ryanair is a successful business of many years standing it is by no means clear whether it is sufficiently robust to weather such a financial storm, so it important that those affected by these flight cancellations claim their compensation without delay.
Passengers can apply for a refund, even if it is only the outbound portion of the flight that is cancelled, you can still get a refund for the return leg, assuming you do not want to use it. Passengers who choose an alternative flight are also entitled to “care and assistance” (food, drink and accommodation) while waiting for the new flight so it is important to keep receipts of everything spent as we understand that Ryanair has failed to reimburse the extra costs of hotels, taxis and expenses incurred by affected customers.
Ryanair has stated that it will not pay for flights on other airlines and has refused to book passengers onto flights with rival carriers as it is not part of the EU261 entitlement. We strongly dispute their interpretation of the EU rules as the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has clearly stated that if an alternative airline is flying to the final destination "significantly sooner", then each passenger has the right to be booked onto a different airline.
Giambrone will fight vigorously for your protection and to ensure Ryanair will be held accountable.
Our lawyers will require your flight number and bank details for the account through which you booked the flight. If you have booked other services like car hire or have spent extra money in hotels, taxis, food and beverage, additional flights with other carriers or have suffered related losses, then this information should also be included in your compensation claim.
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If you have found yourself victim to the Ryanair cancellations, please fill the form below:
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