Ryanair flight delay compensation case could have wide-reaching implications for air passengers

Ryanair flight delay compensation case could have wide-reaching implications for air passengers

A WOMAN claiming flight delay compensation from Ryanair has been told that the airline will no longer accept claims from British courts.

According to the solicitor acting for the woman, known as Ms Menditta and who made a delay claim against Ryanair last year, a new clause in the airline’s terms and conditions means disputes are to be decided in Irish courts.

Ms Menditta made her claim to Liverpool County Court on June 1 with Ryanair responding on July 25.

According to Nicholas Parkinson, a panel solicitor acting on the woman’s behalf, Ryanair responded saying Ms Menditta would have to claim through the Irish judicial system.

Speaking to The Irish Post, Mr Parkinson said that Ryanair’s motion, if accepted by Liverpool County Court next year, could have wide-reaching implications for the rights of air passengers.

“Certain airlines have a long history of rejecting claims for reasons that have subsequently been held by courts to be invalid – but none of them have resorted to this sort of action,” he said.

“Let’s say you live in London and you want to make a claim against Ryanair, then they say you can only sue us in Dublin, how much money are you willing to spend on flying, driving, getting the train or ferry over to Ireland?"

FlightDelays.co.uk claim that tens of thousands of air passengers are coming forward every year to make claims against airlines in Britain.

Passengers held up for three hours or more can claim a full refund of up to £510 for any delayed flight, under EU regulation 261/2004.

In a statement given to The Irish Post, a Ryanair spokesperson said: “We require our customers to submit flight disruption claims directly to Ryanair before engaging third party claims chasers.

“We do this solely to ensure that all Ryanair customers will receive 100 per cent of their EU261 compensation (€250) without deduction of claims chaser fees, which in many cases can amount to 50 per cent of the compensation payable to the passenger.”

But Mr Parkinson added: "It’s interesting now that Ryanair have come out and said that updating their terms and conditions in this way has been done to protect passengers. I don’t quite understand how it protects consumers.”

Last year, British airline regulator the Civil Aviation Authority took enforcement action against Ryanair to force the airline to pay delay compensation.

The move followed a European Court of Justice ruling that passengers should be allowed to recoup up to £437 per ticket if flights are delayed or cancelled for ‘technical reasons’.

Last month, the airline announced that it would “pivot” growth away from Britain to a new base in Germany, after the Brexit vote.

The company said that they were no longer interested in new British routes, and would instead start operating fresh flights between Alicante, Faro, Malaga and Parma.