Ryanair has welcomed a court ruling in Barcelona that no compensation should be paid to passengers for flights cancelled due to strike action, but the Civil Aviation Authority is still insisting that UK passengers are entitled to pay-outs of at least €250.
The court in Barcelona said that under EU261 legislation airlines didn't have to pay compensation for disruption that was out of its control, and it ruled that they weren't to blame for internal strikes.
In a statement, Ryanair's marketing officer Kenny Jacobs said: "We welcome this ruling by the commercial court of Barcelona confirming that no compensation is payable to customers when the (strike) delay/cancellation is beyond the airline's control.
"If these strikes, by a tiny minority of Ryanair crew, were within Ryanair's control, there would be no strikes and no cancellations."
However, the CAA confirmed this morning that its stance towards Ryanair hasn't changed, and it is still advising passengers to make a claim to the airline for flights that have been cancelled with less than two weeks notice or delayed by three hours or more during the recent strikes.
A spokesman said: "Our position still stands. Passengers have the right to seek compensation under EU legislation when flights are delayed by three hours or more, cancelled or when they are denied boarding.
"We note that the recent industrial action is not by Ryanair's UK employees, but it is the view of the UK Civil Aviation Authority, taking account of previous court rulings, that when a flight cancellation is caused by strike action by the airline's employees, the airline is required to pay compensation to passengers in respect of the cancellation of the flight, if it has not warned passengers of the cancellation at least two weeks prior to the scheduled time of departure.
"In the case of the most recent industrial action involving Ryanair, passengers must first submit their claim to the airline and if they are not satisfied with the response, they can seek redress via the approved Alternative Dispute Resolution service".
Ryanair said yesterday's ruling in Barcelona was the ninth of its kind in Spain and it again queried why the CAA was adamant it should compensate passengers for strike-related disruption when other airlines haven't been forced to do so.
Jacobs added: "In recent years during which there were over 15 days of pilot and cabin crew strikes in Germany, Lufthansa was not required to pay EU261 compensation.
"Similarly, the UK CAA should also explain why it took no EU261 action against British Airways during last year's cabin crew strikes."
Courtesy of Travelmole
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