Popular Irish Airlines, RyanAir, has stated in a recent court case that they no longer accept claims made in English courts. The case has caused concerns over passenger delay rights. The EU delay rules give customers the opportunity to file claims when there is a significant delay, overbooking and cancellations.
The case in question involves a woman named Ms Menditta, whose flight was delayed in 2015. Her claims case in England courts has prompted the Irish airlines to inform lawyers that it will not accept the jurisdiction of English courts any longer. This decision was compliant with a clause in their terms and conditions that require that all claims be decided in Irish courts.
According to EU regulations, passengers can file claims of €125-€600 (£105-£500), for various reasons. The claim can be filed in the passenger’s homwine country and the payout is dependent on the duration of the delay and the length of the flight. The most common reason for a payout is technical issues as bad weather and strikes are often ruled out as uncontrollable circumstances.
Notable experts have spoken out against Ryan air’s decision with most stating that a win for the airlines in this case will encourage other airlines to set up claims in any country of their choice. This will effectively make it harder for all passengers to get their dues.
Defending their decision
RyanAir is already in legal trouble as the Civil Aviation Authority has enabled enforcement action against the airlines for thousands of unpaid claims by passengers.
However, when the Civil Aviation Authority judged against them last year, they noted that the airlines’ claims process and rules were unsatisfactory. Technical and legal experts are both against Ryan air’s rules of claims being decided in a particular location as it can cause serious disruption to EU regulations and more importantly, put passengers in a position where they are unable to make the claim.