Ryanair has apologised after angry passengers were left waiting for compensation for cancelled and delayed flights.
The airline blamed an ‘administrative error’ after it said ‘a very small number of cheques’ had been issued in July without a signature.
Flyers took to social media to complain that the cheques failed to clear, with one claiming they were left worse off after the bank issued a €32 (£29) charge.
Consumer complaints service Resolver said it was aware that a number of Ryanair passengers had encountered problems with unsigned cheques after seeking compensation.
Ryanair said the cheques had been re-issued to customers with a letter of explanation on 15 August. ‘We apologise again for any inconvenience caused to customers,’ the airline said.
Ryanair wasn’t rated the worst airline in our annual survey of airline passengers. Read our best and worst airlines table to find out who was.
Ryanair passengers out of pocket
One passenger, whose cheque failed to clear, wrote on Twitter on 14 August: ‘@Ryanair I have been trying to get hold of someone urgently as my bank are concerned because a compensation cheque that I received has bounced, I think that this is outrageous, the bank said the bank details provided do not exist…how is this possible with a printed cheque….’
Another passenger wrote on Facebook on 28 July: ‘Ryanair sent me a cheque for compensation then BOUNCED the cheque..ended up costing me 32 eu (£29) for the privilege. SHAME ON YOU RYANAIR. won’t respond to EMAILS and OPERATOR just put the phone down on me.’
Another passenger tweeted on 9 August: ‘@Ryanair I would love to know why the cheque you sent me for compensation has bounced… Bank assure me this is your fault, wait 1 hour 20 on hold and your “customer services” can’t help and there is no number to call to those who can? Please assure me of a call to fix this asap.’
Ryanair customers out of pocket after flight cancellations
It comes after the airline cancelled hundreds of flights this summer due to pilot and staff strikes. Ryanair had faced criticism after refusing to pay compensation following the disruption. The airline claims it is not legally obligated under EU261 legislation to pay compensation for the cancellations, despite Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) advice to the contrary.
Ryanair’s refusal to pay will force passengers to resort to sending complaints on to the arbitration provider contracted by Ryanair, Aviation ADR. Yet, it too has already indicated that passengers are likely to be due compensation. It told Which? Travel: ‘So far, all complaints that we have processed in relation to strike action at Ryanair have been determined in favour of the passenger, predominantly on the basis that we have seen no evidence to substantiate any submissions that the cause of such delay amounted to “extraordinary circumstances”.’
In most cases, the figure will be €250 per person and it could be more for some longer flights. Use our guide to flight delays and compensation to find out what you might be due and how to claim.
Which? believes flyers aren’t being treated fairly and has called for airlines to automatically compensate passengers for delays and cancellations. This will ensure all passengers who are due compensation receive the money they are owed, without having to navigate a slow claims process that often forces them into the arms of claims management companies.
Join our campaign to persuade airlines to automatically compensate passengers for flight delays.