Ryanair cancellations: European consumer organisations fight back, European Commission informs


Last Friday, Ryanair announced the cancellation of nearly a hundred flights a day until the end of October. In this chaotic context, the Irish airline does not properly inform air passengers of their rights. It offers them only an alternative flight or a refund, whereas they are also entitled to compensation if the cancellation takes place less than two weeks before departure. Belgian consumer union Test Achats/Aankoop, together with its Italian, Spanish and Portuguese sister organisations, issue a formal warning to Ryanair to comply with the law and to properly inform passengers and compensate them.

Test Achats/Aankoop invites the passengers concerned to contact them at 02 892 37 08.

Passengers in doubt

In the past few days, it has been chaos for thousands of air passengers who have booked a flight with Ryanair. The latter announced that it would eliminate nearly a hundred flights per day until the end of October. No clear information is given to travellers on flights that will be cancelled within the next few days. Many, therefore, are in uncertainty and doubt, and cannot organise themselves. The company justifies this cancellation decision by its obligation to respect the holiday leave of the aircrews, as well as by the wish to reach its objectives of punctuality. For Test Achats/Aankoop, this decision is hardly acceptable.

Passengers are entitled to compensation

European regulation is clear. It provides that in the event of cancellation:

  • more than two weeks before the flight: Ryanair must offer an alternative to the air passenger. If it refuses, the company must reimburse him for the price of the ticket.
  • between two weeks and 7 days before the flight: idem + the passenger is entitled to financial compensation unless Ryanair proposes an alternative flight which leaves not more than 2 hours before the scheduled time and arrives at the maximum 4 hours after the estimated time of arrival of the flight.
  • less than one week before the flight: idem + the passenger is entitled to financial compensation unless Ryanair proposes an alternative flight which leaves a maximum of 1 hour before the scheduled time and arrives at the most 2 hours after the hour of arrival.

Compensation ranges from EUR 250 (for flights under 1500 km) to EUR 600 (for flights over 3500 km). Passengers may also require additional compensation if they have suffered particular damage that they can prove, such as a missed connection.

Compensation must be requested via the Ryanair form: https://eu261expenseclaim.ryanair.com/?lg=EN

Test Achats/Aankoop and its sister organisations issue notice to Ryanair

However, Ryanair does not fulfil its obligations. It does not properly inform passengers of their rights by never mentioning its obligation to compensate. Test Achats/Aankoop and its Italian, Spanish and Portuguese sister organisations, therefore, decided to issue a formal notice requiring it to comply with its information obligation and to compensate all passengers affected by the cancellations. Consumer protection organisations give the airline an 8-day period to confirm its compliance with its legal obligations and considers legal action in the event of non-compliance.

Sep 18, 2017

Operational decisions are taken by airlines, not by the Commission. However airlines operating in the EU must respect European rules. Thanks to the European Union, all passengers whose flights are cancelled have a comprehensive set of rights under EU law. These include the right to reimbursement, re-routing or return, as well as the right to care and in some circumstances the right to compensation. We are in contact with Ryanair, and we expect them to fully comply with those rights. National authorities are responsible for their enforcement.

Visit the Air Passenger Rights website:


18 September 2017


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