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Not sure if this would be of interest to anyone - here's the article: http://uk.news.yahoo.com/ryanair-loses-appeal-over-ash-cloud-dis...

snippets:

"A court has ruled Ryanair flouted EU law by refusing to pay out cash to a customer left stranded by the Icelandic volcanic ash cloud three years ago."

"...the regulation did not set a monetary limit on the care airlines based in the EU should give to passengers in such cases."

"The ruling continued: 'It is precisely in situations where the waiting period occasioned by the cancellation of a flight is particularly lengthy that it is necessary to ensure that an air passenger can have access to essential goods and services throughout that period.'"

"Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary told Sky News: 'Today's decision is a very bad one for the price of air travel in Europe. The next time there's an ash cloud or the skies are closed by Europe's governments, the insurance companies will walk away and wash their hands because it is an act of god. The airlines will become the insurers of last resort so somebody whose has paid us to go to the Canaries who maybe is stuck there for two weeks, two months, six months will now sue the airlines. And you'll have airlines going out of business and the ones who stay in business will be putting up their air fares to recover these crazy claims.'"

"'Ryanair regrets the decision of the European Court which now allows passengers to claim for flight delays which are clearly and unambiguously outside of an airline's control. Today's decision will materially increase the cost of flying across Europe and consumer airfares will increase as airlines will be obliged to recover the cost of these claims from their customers, because the defective European regulation does not allow us to recover such costs from the governments or unions who are responsible for over 95% of flight delays in Europe.'"

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Tisk Ryanair (6.87kB)
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I don't remember all the details about the eruption from 3 years ago - but if an eruption (clearly an act of god) causes the government to shut down air space - how can a carrier be held liable for stranding a passenger?

While this would certainly suck for a passenger, this isn't remotely the airlines fault.

If flying was a legal option (i.e. the airspace was not shut down by the government) and the airline decided not to fly, that would be another issue. Does anyone have more insight/remember this situation from 3 years ago?

While I am all for laws that err in favor of passenger rights, I just don't see how they could have been responsible in a situation like this.

I love it when companies make threats like this because guess what, these doomsday prophesies never happen. Somehow they all seem to pull through.

While I disagree with the ruling, I don't see how an airline should be expected to compensate travelers who were stuck due to weather/natural disasters, I have a hard time feeling sorry for Ryan Air.

DutchessPDX said:   I love it when companies make threats like this because guess what, these doomsday prophesies never happen. Somehow they all seem to pull through.

While I disagree with the ruling, I don't see how an airline should be expected to compensate travelers who were stuck due to weather/natural disasters, I have a hard time feeling sorry for Ryan Air.


I have no personal experience with RyanAir - and I would hope the ruling wasn't based of their business model/practices but rather based off the specific case/criteria at hand.

That being said, I still don't understand how they were found liable.

BenH said:   I don't remember all the details about the eruption from 3 years ago - but if an eruption (clearly an act of god) causes the government to shut down air space - how can a carrier be held liable for stranding a passenger?

While this would certainly suck for a passenger, this isn't remotely the airlines fault.

If flying was a legal option (i.e. the airspace was not shut down by the government) and the airline decided not to fly, that would be another issue. Does anyone have more insight/remember this situation from 3 years ago?

While I am all for laws that err in favor of passenger rights, I just don't see how they could have been responsible in a situation like this.



This was a thread I posted on the topic when the ash disruption was happening - the referenced newspaper article might explain about the liabilities:
http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/travel-discussion/1001867/

The rules in the EU are different than in the US regarding what airlines are responsible for - passengers have more protection there, in some ways.

The article talks about the travel insurance companies covering/not covering those affected.

I'm sure the EU has differences in the bill of rights for travelers, but still not seeing how the government can hold an airline responsible for a customer's expenses when the airline was forbidden by law to fly because of a natural disaster.

Personally in this thread I am not arguing for the law to be one way or the other - though I see what you are saying, completely.


Here are some brief stories from one of the main UK tv channels which give a bit more background on the current situation with Ryanair and the European Union laws -

in this order:

1. http://www.itv.com/news/2013-01-31/european-court-rules-against-...

2. http://www.itv.com/news/2013-01-31/act-of-god-versus-act-of-eu-a...

3. http://www.itv.com/news/story/2013-01-31/ryanair-lose-compensati...

4. http://www.itv.com/news/2013-01-31/flight-rights-what-you-need-t...



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