A Tale of Two Airlines - Time to re-think the Compensation Regulations?

The dual crises experienced by Ryanair and Monarch airlines, largely unexpected by the general public, have highlighted glaring flaws in the aviation compensation system.  Whilst at first glance the Monarch situation was known to the executives and management for a while as they struggled to seek a solution that would keep the airline flying. The sudden and unexpected walkout of Ryanair pilots was not; initially it was passed off by the Ryanair hierarchy with one explanation and then another, before settling on a “mix up with the holiday scheduling” as their final explanation. 

What has been brought sharply into focus is the aviation industry’s compensation system.  On one hand Ryanair resisted complying with the law until publicly shamed by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) which followed on the back of a wave of angry complaints from the Ryanair passengers. 

Ryanair is believed to have initially barred customers from claiming the compensation they were entitled to, by issuing refunds without informing passengers they could insist on requesting flights on other airlines.  There are many passengers who accepted refunds who were unaware that Ryanair had deprived them of their legal entitlement to flights on alternative airlines.  Some passengers are considering a legal remedy as they have been informed that as they since they have accepted the initial offer, they are not entitled to the new improved offer despite the fact that it would appear that Ryanair misled them with regard to their rights to full compensation, using a variety of techniques to obstruct their passengers.

On the other hand Monarch’s more orderly, although no less surprising, descent seemed at first to be on the right lines.  However, Monarch ceased to offer Air Travel Organiser’s Licence (Atol) protection for its flights in December 2016 in an attempt to cut costs.  The upshot is that only those who booked package holidays are covered and the CAA have warned that even they may have to wait until Christmas to get their money back as they will have to fill in lengthy forms.  This has resulted in considerable numbers of Monarch passengers finding that they face navigating through claims from insurance, credit card protection and relying on the Consumer Credit Act. 

For many passengers the enjoyment of their holiday has been overshadowed by the struggle to get home and get compensation and they feel that they have been treated very shabbily by both airlines.  It is highly likely that the weight of a volume legal action, rather than an individual trying to steer through the legal and regulatory chaos, will have the effect of focusing attention on the passengers’ plight and force a root and branch change in how future passengers’ claims are dealt with and give the CAA more teeth in swiftly enforcing compliance with the law.

Giambrone has received a number of enquiries relating to the current debacle and is currently preparing a class action against one company and will shortly be considering a similar action against the other company.

Giambrone will fight vigorously for your protection and to ensure Ryanair will be held accountable.

Please contact our lawyers who will require your flight number and bank details of 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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