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garygumps

Taking Ryanair to small claims court

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Hi everyone,

 

I am considering taking Ryanair to small claims court (SCC).  I have been refused compensaton under EU261quoting the usual "exceptional circumstances" excuse and they have stonewalled/refused to correspond any further.

After some research I have decided to take them straight to SCC and would like to quote some ealier rulings regarding in particular that the "knock on effect" is not sufficient.  Thinking ahead, is it ok to just quote the case or do I need the full transcript of the ruling.  I have been able to get a few case headlines but can't seem to track down online a copy of the actual ruling.

 

Thank you

 

Gary


Date of incident                                              17 Jan 2020

First raised complaint                                    21 Jan 2020

Final response from Ryanair                         25 Jan 2020

Appeal to CEO                                                 27 Jan 2020    No reply

LBA issued                                                       13 Feb 2020

 

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I expect it would help people if you told them the story and the value of what you're claiming. Just a thought.


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Sorry, I should have explained.  Will try to keep this as brief as possible.

 

Flight was delayed due to weather initially.  After 3 hours flight was moved to depart from another airport and busses were to be arranged but to cut a long story short Ryanair, in my opinion (and over 100 other passengers), failed to provide this transport due to some logistical error on their part.  The plane took off from the other airport some 12 hours later with about 10 passengers on board.

Ryanair offered no assistance as per EU261 and we were basically left to arrange our own way home.  Finally took off over 30 hours later.  Ryanair have claimed exceptional circumstances due to weather causing a knock on effect to their schedule.  At least 2 other flights from other airlines took off from original airport during delay.

 

So I'm looking to claim back the costs I had to pay out in new flights and accommodation and expenses to get home plus €400 *2 as standard compensation under EU261.  Ryanair have refunded part of my original fare for unused flight.

 

Total amount I would be looking to claim would be just over £1000.


Date of incident                                              17 Jan 2020

First raised complaint                                    21 Jan 2020

Final response from Ryanair                         25 Jan 2020

Appeal to CEO                                                 27 Jan 2020    No reply

LBA issued                                                       13 Feb 2020

 

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So contrary to what you sometimes read on the internet, there's no part of the Regulation 261/04 (or the subsequent binding case law, of which there's quite a bit) that says "knock on" delays cannot be extraordinary circumstances.  The legal test, which is set out (I think) in the Wallentin case is that the cause of the delay must be extraordinary AND the airline must then have taken all reasonable measures to mitigate the delay.  If either test fails, you are due compensation.  A 30 hours delay does not sound reasonable in these circumstances, especially for what is presumably a short-haul route.

 

Pursuing the case on the Small Claims  Track is unlikely to be speedy - unless Ryanair concede as soon as you serve papers (unlikely I think).  It might be quicker and cheaper to use the CAA-approved Alternative Dispute Resolution process in the first instance.  Even if you don't win, this doesn't stop you from going to the Small Claims (which in truth can still be a bit of a lottery on this).

 

I wrote a guide to the law on this, and what passengers should do, a few years back after I successfully sued Monarch Airlines.  You can probably still find it on the internet by Googling Vauban and flight delay guide.

 

Good luck!

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Which two airports were involved please?


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Thank you VAUBAN and FTMDave.

Flight was scheduled to leave Krakow and was moved to Katowice, about an hour away.

The way I see it is that Ryanair are hiding behind delays due to weather (it was foggy) which lead to knock on delays to their tight schedule.  Their usual fob off excuse.

 

Firstly, I'm willing to fight them on the legality of the extraordinary circumstances excuse in that I'm sure there is precedent that the "knock on" aspect has been overuled on several occasions (hence my original request for rulings).  The delay to my flight was not caused directly by "bad weather" because some flights did leave Krakow.

 

Secondly, and this is my main bugbear, the fact that Ryanair failed to provide transport to Katowice caused the whole situation.  They then failed to adhere to EU261 by failing to provide care and assistance.


Date of incident                                              17 Jan 2020

First raised complaint                                    21 Jan 2020

Final response from Ryanair                         25 Jan 2020

Appeal to CEO                                                 27 Jan 2020    No reply

LBA issued                                                       13 Feb 2020

 

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I asked as I had a similar, but positive, experience with RyanAir some years back.

 

My flight from Treviso (TSF) was delayed, then delayed some more, then even more, then finally cancelled, due to fog.  RyanAir put on coaches to take us to Trieste (TRS) airport, getting on for two hours away by coach.

 

I'm not an expert, but that suggests such a procedure is industry standard, and indeed what RyanAir themselves normally do.  A half-competent airline would have contact details of nearby coach companies on hand in case of emergency, especially during winter.

 

I've managed to dig out the details.  Flight FR6572 from TSF to EMA on 26 December 2015.  Quote it if you want in your battle with them, that is what they are supposed to do and usually do, but didn't in your case.


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Thank you Dave.

That is interesting.  You said your experience was positive.  Did you successfuly claim anything in your case?

 

From what I have garnered from research, you would be correct in your assumption that the proceedure to transfer passengers to another airport is not a one off.  This happens quite frequently in Krakow so should be a well oiled plan.  Indeed on the night in question there were I estimate some 10 flights from Ryanair and other airlines that were using this proceedure and they all seemed to get away ok.

It is obvious that there has been some sort of logistical screwup.

As I say, their excuse about the weather is a red herring here.


Date of incident                                              17 Jan 2020

First raised complaint                                    21 Jan 2020

Final response from Ryanair                         25 Jan 2020

Appeal to CEO                                                 27 Jan 2020    No reply

LBA issued                                                       13 Feb 2020

 

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No, I didn't claim anything as I thought RyanAir had been pretty decent.  The fog was terrible.  I'd guess the constant putting back of the take-off time was the airport authorities hoping the fog would clear enough to allow take off.  Then when the flight was eventually cancelled coaches were put on to take us to a nearby airport.  I got where I wanted to go, not at 14:30 as scheduled but around 20:00, so not a disaster.

Which of course begs the question if what was done for me at Treviso, and indeed for passengers on the other 10 flights you mention at Krakow, wasn't done for you.

 

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We could do with some help from you.

PLEASE HELP US TO KEEP THIS SITE RUNNING EVERY POUND DONATED WILL HELP US TO KEEP HELPING OTHERS

 

 Have we helped you ...?         Please Donate button to the Consumer Action Group

 

If you want advice on your thread please PM me a link to your thread

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Exactly, and this is the whole crux of my complaint.  They failed spectacularly in all aspects and why I feel I have a good case.  My own travel insurance has refused a claim as they feel Ryanair are wholly liable in the circumstances.

 

I will be sending a LBA shortly and keep you up to date as my case progresses.

 

Thanks for all the input so far.

Just one last question.  I only have anecdotal evidence of the number of passengers (10ish) that actually made the eventual flight.  Is there anywhere that I can verify this?


Date of incident                                              17 Jan 2020

First raised complaint                                    21 Jan 2020

Final response from Ryanair                         25 Jan 2020

Appeal to CEO                                                 27 Jan 2020    No reply

LBA issued                                                       13 Feb 2020

 

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you can ask the CAA if they have data that is publicly available on passenger numbers.
Now have you considered telling the insurers that you are going to take the matter further because  if it is an insured event they have to pay up regardless of what they think about Ryanair.

i dotn like falsh gits in Ferraris but if one crashed into me I would still expect my insurer to sort the mess out

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My insurers rejected my claim as they came to the conclusion that it was Ryanairs fault that I was not transported to the new airport, which of course it was !   According to their definitions the bus would've had to break down or be delayed somehow.  Simply not turning up is not covered!


Date of incident                                              17 Jan 2020

First raised complaint                                    21 Jan 2020

Final response from Ryanair                         25 Jan 2020

Appeal to CEO                                                 27 Jan 2020    No reply

LBA issued                                                       13 Feb 2020

 

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