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Ryanair passengers to be refunded for flights cancelled by strike
Ryanair passengers affected by the cancellations or delays of 172 flights in the summer of 2018 will receive compensation following an agreement between the budget airline and consumer organisation Test Achats.
The money will come in the form of a voucher which is valid for four years but refundable if not used within a year, and costs related to inconvenience caused by the cancellations or delays will also be reimbursed, RTL reports.
“Discussions with Ryanair have resulted in an agreement that all affected passengers will receive a voucher worth between €250 and €400, depending on the distance of their cancelled or delayed flight,” Test Achats said.
“Additionally, reasonable additional costs, for example for hotel accommodation and car hire, and other costs directly related to cancellations and delays, can also be recovered either directly from Ryanair or via Test Achats.”
In July 2019, Test Achats launched a class action against the low-cost Irish airline because it refused to refund angry passengers.
“The collective action was necessary,” said Jean-Philippe Ducart, manager of public affairs and media relations at Test Achats. “With 170 flights affected, 33,000 people were impacted for an estimated compensation of €16 million.”
The flights in the summer of 2018 were cancelled or delayed due to a major strike by the airline’s employees, leaving thousands of people unable to fly. Some customers were forced to extend a hotel stay or book and pay for another flight.
At the time, Ryanair used the argument of “force majeure” to avoid any financial compensation to its passengers as provided for in European law.
The court ordered Ryanair to notify all passengers affected by the flight cancellations and delays of the class action. They then had three months to indicate whether or not they wished to join in the suit, and the parties could then negotiate an agreement before going to trial, which is what happened in the case of Ryanair and Test Achats.
The agreement will grant €250 to passengers with affected flights of 1500 km or less and €400 for all European flights of more than 1,500 km, or all other flights between 1,500 and 3,500 km.
Vouchers sent to the person who paid for the ticket can be transferred to another person on the original journey.
Ryanair must send an email before 31 December 2021 to the email address with which the tickets were booked, and the customer then has three months to respond and obtain the voucher.
“We are delighted with the agreement reached with Ryanair, which is unique in Europe, and which allows all passengers affected by the delays and cancellations of summer 2018 to be compensated more quickly than if we had had to go to the end of a legal procedure,” said Ducart, who added that such a legal route could have been a five or six-year ordeal. “We will continue to work to ensure that all airlines take passengers' rights seriously.”
Affected passengers can visit the designated website for more information, or, as part of the agreement, can also contact the free helpline at 0800 29 510, Monday to Friday between 9:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m.