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Ahead of 5pm deadline, Ryanair confirms it will re-route customers on rival airlines

The low budget airline had been given a deadline of 5pm this evening to correct its compensation policy for passengers.

File photo of Ryanair CEO Michael O'Leary.
File photo of Ryanair CEO Michael O'Leary.
Image: Sam Boal/RollingNews.ie

RYANAIR HAS GIVEN the details of how it will re-route or compensate the thousands of customers affected by its widespread flight cancellations, ahead of a deadline from a UK watchdog.

The low-budget airline had been given a deadline of 5pm this evening by the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority to correct its compensation policy for passengers.

This came following the airline cancelling 2,100 flights between September and October and a further 18,000 between November and March, as a result of what the airline said is a rostering issue.

The UK CAA began enforcement proceedings against Ryanair on Wednesday.

The CAA said that the airline was in breach of UK consumer law by failing to offer to re-route affected customers on rival airlines.

Yesterday, it wrote to the airline requiring greater clarity over a number of consumer issues.

The CAA required that Ryanair issue a press release to provide clarification on three important issues:

  1. Explain how the airline will re-route passengers and the criteria that it will apply to re-route passengers to other airlines
  2. Include a commitment to assist passengers who have chosen an option that was no suitable for them as a result of being misled by Ryanair
  3. Include a statement that Ryanair will reimburse any out-of-pocket expenses incurred by passengers as a result of the cancellations

Ryanair had to provide a clear statement addressing all of these on its website by this evening.

Ryanair responds 

The Irish Commission for Aviation Regulation said today that it had also secured an agreement from Ryanair that it will comply with regulations and directly provide affected customers with the necessary information on refunds, rerouting, care and assistance and compensation.

In its statement, Ryanair said that it had emailed all of its customers who were affected by the cancellations, which the airline says is under 1%.

In terms of refunds, it said a full refund would be offered for an unused flight sector and any associated fees.

The airline also laid out a number of re-routing options for affected passengers.

First it said it would move the customer to the next available Ryanair flight on the same route.

If this option isn’t available on the same or next day as the original flight, customers will be moved on the next flight to suitable alternative airports.

If this option isn’t available, then customers will be given a flight on another airline (Easyjet, Jet2, Vueling, Cityjet, Aer Lingus, Norwegian or Eurowings airlines).

If this isn’t available, the airline said it would offer the customer re-accommodation on any comparable alternative transport.

The airline also said that it would reimburse any reasonable out of pocket expenses incurred by customers as a result of these flight cancellations.

“If any Ryanair customer on one of these disrupted flights believes that they may have chosen an option that was not suitable for them as a result of any misunderstanding of their EU261 rights, then they should write directly to Ryanair’s Director of Customer Services and Ryanair will assist them in any way it can to obtain their full EU261 rights and entitlements,” the company said.

“We apologise again sincerely for the disruption and inconvenience our rostering failure has caused some of our customers,” said chief marketing officer Kenny Jacobs.

“Over the past week we have refunded/re-accommodated over 97% of the customers affected by the 18th September cancellations.

This week (by close of business on Sunday, 1 October), we will have re-accommodated/refunded over 90% of the 400,000 customers who were notified of schedule changes (on flights between November 2017 and March 2018) on Wednesday 27 [September].

Read: ‘Disrespecting pilots will not help solve our shared problems’: Ryanair captains speak out

Read: Ryanair cancels 22 flights a week to and from Dublin

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Cormac Fitzgerald

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