Last month Ryanair lost their battle against the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) as a High Court Judge has ruled that Ryanair must pay compensation to passengers affected by their own union led internal strikes over pay and conditions under EC Regulation 261/2004.
Hayward Baker were also due to be heard on this exact issue at the English Court of Appeal just 2 weeks after the trial at the High Court in the case of Rodrigues v Ryanair. In Rodrigues Hayward Baker were successful at the first County Court hearing but Ryanair appealed the matter before His Honour Iain Hughes QC where the decision was overturned. Ms Rodrigues appealed the matter to the Court of Appeal which is one Court above the High Court but Ryanair settled the case just before the hearing was due to take place, citing the action by the CAA at the High Court which was due to be heard shortly beforehand.
It remains to be seen whether Ryanair now chose to go to the Court of Appeal against the CAA rather than Hayward Baker. Of course doing so would prolong the issue even further which only plays into Ryanair’s hands.
However affected passengers are urged to put in a claim against Ryanair now. Even if Ryanair refuse to pay you they will have you on record for future and so should then pay you if no further appeals are forthcoming. However judging by yearly consumer surveys this might be wishful thinking
The decision by the High Court is the same reached by the European Court of Justice in Airhelp v SAS which was published just before the High Court case. In it the ECJ ruled that where flights were delayed or cancelled due to union led strike action these were internal matters for the airline, inherent in the exercise of the normal activity for their business as well as being within their control so they had to pay compensation.
This follows another decision by the Court of Appeal in Lipton v BA City Flyer where the Court of Appeal ruled that compensation to passengers was still payable where a flight was delayed because of a sick pilot – or as Lord Coulson put it – because of the suspect “prawn sandwich”.
Managing Director at Hayward Baker, Keith Hayward said “After years and years the airlines are running out of avenues to dispute these claims. What should have been a simple mechanism to raise consumer protection and awareness has turned into decade old battles to get the airlines to try and live up to their obligations under this particular regulation. The Court’s have made it clear both in the UK and across the continent that circumstances in which the airlines can raise the defence of “extraordinary circumstances” are limited and narrow. Only truly exceptional events will give airlines an escape route not to have to pay consumers. The only anomaly written into the regulation is where an act of Air Traffic Control delays you on your journey which may very well be for a mundane reason. Other than this in most other circumstances the airlines will have to pay compensation unless the event is something truly extraordinary like a volcanic eruption or a global pandemic which is only right”
Free Eligibility Check
If your flight has been disrupted due to a delay or cancellation you may have the potential to make a claim under the EU Regulation 261/2004 for compensation. This could be up to €600 per person. Contact Hayward Baker on 01329 227 983 or complete our On-Line Form today to discuss the potential for a claim.
Have you had a flight that was disrupted?
You may be entitled to claim compensation.