In a highly controversial move, the Ireland based carrier, Ryanair has announced that it is to make changes to it’s terms and conditions, which mean that passengers wanting to make claims for compensation for delayed or cancelled flights, would be forced to take those claims to a court – which could put off many passengers from seeking compensation from the airline.
European Union rules state that anyone whose flight is delayed for more than three hours possesses the legal right to request for compensation. The amount compensation usually received by passengers is between £200 to £510 and many passengers have been unable to get back compensation for their delayed or cancelled flights, due to the airlines in question, claiming various reasons out of their control behind the cancellation and delays, which means the airlines not having to pay out compensation.
The changes to Ryanair’s terms and conditions will mean anyone wishing to make a claim will need to do so in a Irish court and use Irish lawyers, which will probably mean that the vast majority of Ryanair’s customers who live outside or Ireland, would not bother in making flight delay compensation claims.
Airlines have been accused of sitting on millions in payouts – and latest figures show 4,000 cancellations and 120,000 delays across Europe in August alone.
Details of the new Ryanair clause emerged ahead of a Liverpool court case next April, brought by a Ryanair passenger whose flight to Italy was delayed.
Mr Parkinson believes the issue of jurisdiction was resolved when European courts decided passengers could bring claims either in the country they flew from, landed in or where the airline is based.
He added: “To our knowledge, there are no other reputable airlines with a similar clause in their terms and conditions.”