Ryanair given deadline to obey compensation rules

Ryanair boss Michael O'LearyImage copyright

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Ryanair boss Michael O”Leary

Ryanair has been told to correct its compensation policy for hundreds of thousands of passengers whose flights have been cancelled, by 5pm on Friday.

The UK’s Civil Aviation Authority says the airline must stop misleading passengers about the option to be re-routed with another airline.

The regulator has ordered the budget airline to say publicly how it will re-route those passengers.

Ryanair must also say how it will reimburse their out-of-pocket expenses.

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In addition, the beleaguered airline must promise to help any of the passengers whose flights have been cancelled in the past two weeks, but who may have chosen an unsuitable option as a result of being misled by Ryanair, the regulator said.

The demands cover passengers who were due to fly to and from the UK.

The airline recently cancelled flights affecting more than 700,000 passengers, from now until next March, in two separate tranches because it had bungled the reorganisation of its pilots’ leave arrangements.

On Wednesday the CAA said that if the airline did not fully comply with European Union (EU) rules on providing compensation then it would take the airline to court, with the possibility of an unlimited fine.

Now the CAA has set deadlines for Ryanair’s compliance and once again taken the airline to task for its failings.

Accusing the airline of “ongoing infringements” of the EU rules – and demanding an end to those infringements – the CAA says Ryanair has still failed to supply information requested a week ago on its refund and rerouting policy.

Referring to the Ryanair website, which must also be changed by Fridays’s deadline, the CAA says: “There is still no information here about how expenses will be treated where passengers are re-routed to and/or from other airports or where they otherwise incur additional out-of-pocket expenses as a result of the cancellations.”

“Further changes are therefore required to make it clear that any such expenses will be reimbursed by Ryanair”.

Additional deadlines

The regulator has also heaped further deadlines on the airline to rectify the misleading information given out over the past two weeks.

Passengers flying to and from the UK who have been affected by the flight cancellations must be re-contacted by email, giving them “accurate and comprehensive information on their rights and options”.

Ryanair must offer them again the option of a refund or re-routing, including one with another airline, and tell them how to make a claim for expenses.

Passengers who feel they have been misled but have accepted a refund must be offered a reimbursement of the difference with any higher fare.

And those who have been misled into accepting an unsatisfactory re-routing must be offered the option to change it.

Passengers in the second group of cancellations covering November to March, must be sent similar emails, highlighting their right to a re-routing on another airline as an alternative Ryanair one will not be available.

Those new emails must be sent out by 5:00pm on 4 October, after being approved by the CAA.

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