Ryanair shuns duty of care obligationBack to Forum
Anonymous22 Apr 2010
Fair enough passengers won’t get compensation out of the airlines because of the volcanic ash crisis as it’s an “act of God”. But how can Ryanair think it can get away with not paying for passengers’ food, drink and hotel accommodation after being stranded? Under EU law they are obliged to provide this! What have other people’s experiences been so far in terms of the support from the airlines they have been flying with?22 Apr 2010
Personally, I think that after an initial emergency one or two nights, that it is not for governments to mandate that airlines should pay open ended support claims.
No other industry bears such regulatory restrictions.
The eruption was well outside any airline’s reasonable control.
All travellers should take some personal responsibility for their well being, in whatever circumstances. That is what travel insurance is for.
My anecdotal understanding is that Ryanair have, in some cases, accommodated people at its own expense.
However, to expect to compensate people for five nights in a hotel, plus food is unreasonable. Some sort of cap, perhaps in relation to the fare paid, does not seem unreasonable to me.
I think it’s a good test-case challenge. While I believe it is violation in both the spirit and letter of the law (as well as common decency) not to give immediate food and shelter to those in need, in the longer term these poorly worded regulations need to be reformed and I think this might provide the ammunition for some reform of these laws, which we all know to be difficult tio understand and apply.22 Apr 2010
VK, I wholly agree with what you say here, especially insofar as short haul travel is concerned. In virtually all cases involving FR, passengers could find some alternative method to reach their destinations, albeit at some inconvenience and cost. The problem was, as much as anything, one of the uncertainty over when/ if airspace would reopen – a classic case of “should I go or should I stay?” Where people are stranded further afield without a reasonable alternative method of travel, the case is somewhat different.
Clearly, the current EU regulations are nonsensical and require both clarification and reform. That said, I guess the fuss over Ryanair has as much to do with their past, high profile record with respect to customer care as it does with the current situation!! Ash-caked chickens coming home to roost!22 Apr 2010
Seems Ryanair has caved, and will pay out “reasonable” re-imbursement, and no compensation:
On Thursday, Ryanair confirmed it would comply with EU regulations on reimbursements. But it said the EU regulation in question (EU261) did not entitle passengers to compensation, as the recent closure of European airspace was beyond the control of airlines.
And my comments were specifically to Ryanair’s shorthaul, largely Continental, routes. Longhaul is slightly more complex an issue, but the need for Travel Insurance and personal responsibility still stands.
The EU regs are a good idea, but poorly executed and create uncertainty for both passengers and the airlines.22 Apr 2010
The law is the law, however unfair Ryanair or anyone else thinks it is. An expensive court battle to come I guess, with lawyers fees and any fines seen by Ryanair as good Marketing expense.
I am surprised Ryanair has not seen this as a revenue generating opportunity by charging a *** optional *** customer repatriation cover fee, which can be opted out of if you are flying with Ryanair from Dublin to Outer Mongolia.22 Apr 2010
I’m also not sure than travel insurance covers the issue. I wonder how many travel policies written from today will provide cover for this type of event.
It seems that previously (as in pre 9/11 – Sars – Tsunami) unlikely events such as :
– World health scares
– Act of God
– Insolvency of airlines
Are actually far more common, and therefore at the mercy of the underwriter inspired exclusions on travel policies.
Either that, or travel policy premiums will jump.22 Apr 2010
I’m not a Lawyer, and don’t want to adopt the legalistic frame of mind. And I’m a fan of budget airlines.
I don’t see the link between the ‘fare paid’ and the compensation/reimbursement issue. The service level offered, and expected is the issue. In the end, we get what we pay for, and I like cheap fares, both from ‘budegt’ airlines and their high-overhead competitors. I can afford to ‘self-insure’, and when in trouble enjoy the opportunity to travel by unforeseen routes to unexpected destinations and extend my stay as required.
What I DO OBJECT TO, is the wriggling out from obligations by Insurers. This eruption is not an act of God. It is a natural recurring event, predictable and manageable. It is exactly the sort of thing I would expect insurance to cover, and the sight of insurers not paying the insured travellers just makes me secure in my belief in self-insurance.22 Apr 2010
I do think there has to be some correlation between the value of the service provided and the re-imbursement of expenses.
For instance, travelling on a £100 Ryanair ticket during recent events I would have been happy to be accommodated in an ibis (as someone who has never darkened the door of an ibis), however if travelling in longhaul First Class for £4000+ I would expect at least four star hotels with a good location.22 Apr 2010
VK You miss my point completely. It is not the fare which matters, and in a crisis there’s no place for superior/inferior judgmental behaviour. It’s the Service Level offered which counts. If an airline is marketing ‘full service’ then it’s for all. If an arline offers ‘no service’ then it’s the same for all. You check the T&C when you book and insure yourself (or not) accordingly.
In my house, everyone gets a glass of water before anyone gets champagne.
Anyway, I thought an ibis was a bird? why would it have a door for you to darken.22 Apr 2010
I fail to see how this event is predictable. How can you predict with complete certainty how long this will last? Are you 100% sure Etna won’t just blast its hood later in the week? I can’t comprehend how a budget fare advertised by self promoted air buses would include insurance of this sort. I couldn’t fly with Ryanair et al and assume my accommodation would be paid for. Effectively you take the risk of flying low-cost hoping nothing will go wrong and you subsequently reach your destination safely and cheaply. Maybe a free glass of water if it wasn’t too much trouble 😉22 Apr 2010
When something unexpected happens to us, the passenger, the airlines don’t let us cancel the commitment to them. So how come they can cancel and let us suffer? I understand it can’t be forever but there must be a sensible period of time. That is, as VK says, why we have to have travel insurance.22 Apr 2010
My flight was effected indirectly. I was supposed to fly on 4/22/10 to London on Continental Airlines and on 4/28/10 from London to Gdansk on Ryan air. Due to the extreme situation and uncertainty, I postponed the departure from New York. I was happy that one British traveler stranded on the airport was able to use my seat to go home. Continental Airlines rescheduled my ticket from NY to London and from Gdansk to NY without any hassle and without any fees. On the Ryan air website I found the post stating that all flight up to April 30, 2010 can be rescheduled on line for FREE. I did reschedule the flight accordingly but I got HIT not only with the ticket price difference but also with the Rescheduling Fee of 25 pounds.
My total difference was $60 US in addition to the ticket I already had purchased. This is outrages! I am sure that they will have still a chaos next week and I might be doing them a favor by emptying one seat.
This would not happen in United States, I don’t know what kind of customer service Europeans are used to, but in USA, things like this don’t happen!
I hope Ryan air people read it: IT SUCK! i will never buy a ticket from them anymore.22 Apr 2010
I take strong exception to Tom Baum’s comment “In virtually all cases involving FR, passengers could find some alternative method to reach their destinations, albeit at some inconvenience and cost.”.
I have been stuck in Birmingham for a week desparately trying to find a way to Faro. I had bookings with bmibaby on Thursday, Ryanair Friday, bmibaby Saturday, BA Monday Tuesday and Wednesday, and I finally reached Faro today on bmibaby. The least helpful airline has been BA with even the Gold card lines cutting off after telling you there is nothing they can do. It was also not possible to change BA bookings online. Ryanair advised quickly and offered an immediate refund; bmibaby did answer the phone and re-scheduled at no additional cost. Monarch advised my wife to change her booking online, pay the higher fare and change fee, then write for a refund of additional charges. Conclusion, the Gold card airline proved infinitely worse than the low cost ones.
I tried to get ferries and trains but both options would have cost at least £500. I decided not to afford it, many would not have been able to afford it.
As to the original theme of compensation, what does the fare paid have to do with the amount of reasonable expenses incurred? If an airline does not want to run the “risk” of complying with known legislation then the airline should insure against it’s potential liability, not the customer who should reasonably be able to expect the airline to comply with the law. Are there many other laws that M O’L wants to break? Any corners he wants to cut?22 Apr 2010