Ryanair has bowed to pressure from Which? and the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), and confirmed that passengers on its cancelled flights have the right to be rebooked on other carriers.
The airline, given a deadline of 5pm on Friday 29 September by the CAA, responded late that afternoon by emailing all passengers hit by its cancellations.
It agreed that passengers affected by the thousands of flight cancellations do have the right, not just to a refund, or to being rerouted on a Ryanair flight but, in certain circumstances, to a ticket on an alternative airline.
Find out your rights if you have been affected by Ryanair’s cancellations.
Ryanair’s response to the CAA
Despite agreeing to meet the regulations and fly passengers on alternative airlines, Ryanair has designed a convoluted four step process.
According to Ryanair’s latest statement, passengers will first be offered the next available Ryanair flight on the same route. If this is not available, within a day or two, it will then offer to move the customer to the next available route from an alternative, nearby, airport.
Only if these options are not available will it offer passengers, ‘re-accommodation on any one of our agreed disruption partner airlines’. These are Easyjet, Jet2, Vueling, Cityjet, Aer Lingus, Norwegian or Eurowings.
If flights on these airlines are not available the same or next day customers are still entitled to ‘comparable alternative transport’, which could include any other airline. Ryanair said that these claims will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.
Alex Neill, Which? Managing Director of Home Products and Services, said: ‘Ryanair’s response may get close to complying with the regulations, but it still smacks of a lingering reluctance to do the right thing by its customers. Its convoluted four-step rerouting policy means passengers face a potential minefield trying to get to their destination when their flight is cancelled.
‘The CAA now needs to watch Ryanair like a hawk. It must take firm action if the airline is found to be failing the hundreds of thousands of passengers who have been caught up in this mess’.
Rights to refunds
Ryanair also confirmed that it will reimburse ‘any reasonable out-of-pocket expenses incurred by customers as a result of these flight cancellations, subject to receiving an EU261 expense claim form from customers supported by original receipts’.
Ryanair’s Kenny Jacobs said: ‘We apologise again sincerely for the disruption and inconvenience our rostering failure has caused some of our customers.’
Ryanair has also offered affected customers a €40 one-way flight voucher (€80 return) for travel in October to March.’