Hundreds of disgruntled Ryanair passengers in Belgian court to claim their compensation


Hundreds of passengers turn to the courts to claim a compensation from Ryanair. The low-cost airline had cancelled thousands of flights at short notice last autumn, mostly at Charleroi airport. Today, a company specialising in claiming compensation from airlines has decided to go to court.

© Bram Botterman

In the Ghent offices of Happy Flights, work has not been lacking in recent months. This start-up specialised in claiming compensation from airlines is representing 746 passengers victims of flights cancelled or delayed by Ryanair last autumn. Among them, 375 passengers were travelling from Charleroi airport. The amount claimed in the commercial court is not less than 108,425 euros.

For a delay of more than 3 hours or for a cancellation, the European regulation allows to claim a compensation of 250 to 600 euros, it is a right,” said Peter Van Hende, spokesman for Happy Flights.

Last September and October, the Irish airline cancelled thousands of flights because of scheduling problems of its pilots. Some 715,000 passengers in Europe were affected by these cancellations. Some had managed by themselves to obtain a compensation. But often, it can be very complicated to get a compensation.

Several specialised companies, therefore, propose to do the work against a commission of 25% of the compensation. Regarding Ryanair, the start-up Happy Flights in Ghent is hopeful. “Last year, we did the same thing and they paid, we would not do that if we were not sure of winning,” said Peter Van Hende.

The claim relating to flights from Charleroi will be introduced on February 26 before the  Commercial Court of Charleroi.

Ryanair cautions against “claim hunters”

Ryanair does not make it difficult for passengers claiming compensation,” says the airline. The company denounces companies like Happy Flights, calling them “claim hunters” who “do not provide any useful services“.

Many of these ‘claim hunters’ businesses are scamming consumers by taking up to 50% of their compensation and we urge all customers with valid claims under EU Directive 261 to submit them directly to Ryanair“.

Comment: If you have accepted a refund or flight change, you have up to one year to claim a compensation from your airline.

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