CAR response to Ryanair announcement that passenger expenses will not be reimbursed

(20 Apr 2010)

It has come to the attention of the Commission for Aviation Regulation that Ryanair has announced that those passengers whose flights were affected by the recent volcanic eruption in Iceland and who are waiting to be reaccommodated on alternative flights will only obtain reimbursement to the limit of the cost of the original fare paid.

Whilst the Commission appreciates that the financial implications for airlines of the recent events are significant, it wishes to point out that the position adopted by Ryanair is incompatible with EC Regulation No. 261/ 2004 and has therefore brought this matter to the attention of Ryanair.

The rights of passengers in respect of expenses incurred in relation to care and assistance measures are required to be fulfilled by the air carriers notwithstanding the circumstances of the current difficulties affecting the aviation sector.

The Commission therefore reminds passengers to retain all relevant receipts in relation to necessary expenses incurred in respect of food and accomodation whilst awaiting new flight arrangements by their air carrier.

Passengers are also reminded to submit copies of their receipts directly to their air carrier for reimbursement. In the event of disputes concerning compliance by airlines with the EC Regulation, complaints may be lodged with the the Commission as the national enforcement body for Ireland. It should be noted that the Commission's remit extends only to those flights scheduled to depart from airports within the jurisdiction and those scheduled to arrive into such airports from third countries where those flights were due to be operated by air carriers licensed within the European Union.

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