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Taking Ryanair to small claims court


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Sorry Bankfodder, didn't realise I could post this on the open forum.

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

Small Claim issued                                          2 March 2020 (response date 13 April)

 

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Hi I suppose it would be time for an update. To cut a long story short the case is in COVID hell!!  Lol What happened was that the court “forgot” about the original Notice of Dispute

I am following this with interest.  I have flown with Ryanair weekly commuting for many years - hundreds of flights.  That is a lot of trips, delays, dramas and sagas.  I have seen Ryanair operate mos

Remember that solicitors use a lot of smoke & mirrors.  40 pages is more than 4 pages and is no doubt meant to impress a judge and scare you, but I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of these pages ar

Generally speaking all materials/documents et cetera should be posted on the open forum because that's way this forum becomes powerful. That's the way that the CAG community members are empowered and that's what keeps the companies which try to oppress everybody, on the back foot.

If everything is done of forum – or in secret then it simply divides everybody and that brings comfort to Ryanair or anyone else.

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Here is a copy of the "defence" for anyone to have a look at and advise.

Many thanks group!

 

Gary

NOTICE OF DISPUTE redacted.pdf

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

Small Claim issued                                          2 March 2020 (response date 13 April)

 

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Did you apply for a refund before you took any reclaim action?  If Ryanair refunded you for your flight then you have chosen to "end your contract" with them and they have no further liability for your travel.  This is pivotal because as long as you have a paid up ticket (and booking reference) then they have full liability and responsibility for you.  The minute they refund you, they have discharged their duty and you are on your own.  

I am still trying to understand the basis for your claim.  The law says that if you are delayed then you have the option to refund or re-route (but not both which seems to be the case here).  You can go with the original carrier or not despite what Ryanair would have you believe.  You should tell them what you intend to do so they cannot claim later that you did not give them the option.  

 

If I were to apply the best case to your situation it would be that the flight was delayed, you somehow told Ryanair that you were re-routing and off you went with your alternative travel arrangements.  You then put in your claim and waited.  If you then asked for a refund after your travel claim went in then you (and they) could argue that Ryanair has already part-paid your claim but you have a better case.  If you asked for a refund before your claim went in then the emphasis sits more with you to say you made a procedural error and they have a stronger defence.

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Hi Scourge,

Thanks for the comments,  I will try and clarify a few things so that maybe you can understand my case.

 

Technically, the flight was delayed due to weather at Krakow and subsequently transferred to Katowice.  The passengers were told to wait for transport (coaches) to take us to the new departure airport.

After hours of waiting, it was apparent that no such transfer was going to take place and thus we missed the flight.

 

After hours of queueing at the help desk, we were told that rerouting was not an option ( I think next available flight was several days away, clearly unacceptable) and basically told to make out own arrangements!  Only then did I arrange alternative flights etc to get us home.

I did claim a refund but only after I got home as I considered that reasonable as it was well after any contractual liability.  I have since offered to reduce my claim by the refund figure.

 

So, in summary, if Ryanair had done what it was supposed to do, ie, transport us to the new airport, this whole situation wouldn't have arisen.

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

Small Claim issued                                          2 March 2020 (response date 13 April)

 

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Boiling it down then:

 

1.  You did attempt to allow Ryanair to resolve the issue but they failed to do so therefore you exercised your right to re-route through alternative / comparable means.  Also look at Ryanair T&Cs relating to re-routing.  They do not mention that you have to allow them to re-route you. Positive.

 

2.  You incurred costs in your own re-routing that were in line with EU261 regulations.  Positive.

 

3.  You submitted your claim post-travel upon return.  Positive

 

4.  You applied for a refund and fortunately the timing seems to be after travel. Neutral.

 

The actions by Ryanair customer services are unfortunately largely irrelevant.  The facts come down to your rights in the event of a delay.  They did run the flight (of sorts) but it was delayed which gives you rights that you exercised.  How poor the customer service was does not really make any difference as your rights are unaffected.

 

You need to push that you attempted to re-route with the Defendant (or their nominated representative at the airport) at the time of the delay, were not satisfied with their proposal therefore you elected to re-route under comparable travel conditions.  You also informed the Defendant (or their etc etc) of this intention to re-route at the time therefore it is the problem of the Defendant that they did not process this information.

 

It also says that you are claiming compensation, does your claim include the 250 EURO element or is it just for the cost of alternative travel (and extras)?  Finally (for now!) did you remove the element of the claim for the second person, or how have you dealt with that?

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We are still back to the bus question

 

Ryanair insists in point 53 that it offered you a coach transfer to the alternate airport "like it did other passengers", which you deny. I also did not see them attach any evidence that it actually did provide this transfer. Or even that it notified you of this, regardless of whether the coach did indeed exist or not.

(even though they include 10 pages of METAR data - just to misdirect)

 

 

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I am claiming EU compensation plus additional expenses incurred.

 

The coach transfer did not happen.  I have numerous statements from fellow passengers to corroborate this.  Also Annex C Daily Movement Sheet shows that the flight took off from Katowice with 10 passengers on board!  Hardly supporting evidence that passengers were transported to the flight?

 

Regarding the help desk rerouting option etc.  These options were sort of denied for us as we were told to wait and wait which gave us hope that something was going to be sorted out.  Then eventually it was too late and given the amount of people in the queue by the time I and loads of others got to the desk we were basically told to make our own arrangements.  Any available rerouting options/space on planes or whatever had already been exhausted I would assume?

 

Anyway, thanks for all the comments.  All very encouraging as I sometimes get doubts about 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

Small Claim issued                                          2 March 2020 (response date 13 April)

 

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Totally agree on the METAR but Oracle love putting in lots of pages to a defence as they think it looks good, even though it is may be totally irrelevant.

 

The bus issue come back to timing.  If the bus was set up inside the three hour delay window then it is relevant as Ryanair can say they were trying to depart within three hours.  If the buses were due to depart after the three hours from the original departure time then you are back to your EU261 right to select re-routing regardless of what Ryanair lay on.  

 

I have been on a Ryanair flight that was delayed by two hours (under 1500km distance)  - at that point, you have the right to demand to get off the plane, have your baggage recovered and make your own further plans which one very unhappy punter did to the further delay of all.  

 

Once an airline goes over the EU261 mandated time window for a delay, your rights are active no matter what.  Often though, where Ryanair fly from you normally have very few other options!

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Personally I think that you have a solid case for the re-routing but the compensation will take more.  If the inbound flights were diverted because of fog meaning you had no plane to get on then that is an extraordinary circumstance and the airline is not liable.  That they failed to transfer you is just poor customer service but does not entitle you to EU261 compensation.  To win your case for compensation you need to prove that the flight was delayed for operational / commercial reasons.  The weather argument is strong as the inbounds went to other airports.  That was a flight safety decision made by the pilot so difficult to prove otherwise.  That other flights operated from Krakow maybe because the fog lifted temporarily perhaps but you would have to prove all of this.

 

The core comes down to the delay was due to fog (at the point of departure airport), that is extraordinary therefore they are only responsible to pay for your re-routing if you exercised that option in line with EU261 delay timings.  That they did not look after you is poor but no legal basis for compensation.  Even if Ryanair admitted to completely ballsing up the transfer of passengers - then so what?  How does that legally help your argument (other than reaffirming how appalling they are at customer service)?

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So are you saying that in my case the claim for EU compensation is on the weak side?   

To be honest, I am more interested in getting my money back that I had to fork out to get home.  Ryanair's service and attitude was appalling and this is the main basis of my small claim.  The Small Claim Court's whole reason for being is for this type of poor service and to seek redress.

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

Small Claim issued                                          2 March 2020 (response date 13 April)

 

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2 hours ago, The Scourge of Ryanair said:

(...)

The bus issue come back to timing.  If the bus was set up inside the three hour delay window then it is relevant as Ryanair can say they were trying to depart within three hours.  (...)

 

 

Well this is slightly different because there was no bus at all, and Ryanair appears to be lying in point 53, which Gary says he can demonstrate. Ryanair certainly hasn't shown any evidence that a bus lift was organized as per their claim (despite showing 10s of pages of irrelevant data which Gary does not contest). I hope that this can be proven successfully in court (although I am myself clueless about scc procedure).

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1 hour ago, Kyosanto said:

 

Well this is slightly different because there was no bus at all, and Ryanair appears to be lying in point 53, which Gary says he can demonstrate. Ryanair certainly hasn't shown any evidence that a bus lift was organized as per their claim (despite showing 10s of pages of irrelevant data which Gary does not contest). I hope that this can be proven successfully in court (although I am myself clueless about scc procedure).

I refer my good friend to the question of so what?

 

There were no coaches - how does that entitle you to EU261 compensation?  

 

I see no reason.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 09/03/2021 at 15:04, The Scourge of Ryanair said:

  Finally (for now!) did you remove the element of the claim for the second person, or how have you dealt with that?

Sorry, forgot to answer this at the time.  I applied to the court to add my partner's name to the action and this was allowed.

 

Also, is there any way, case law for example, to dismiss the excuse of extraordinary circumstances relating to weather?   Snow or something at a sunny location could be deemed extraordinary?

 

I believe that fog is a common occurance at Krakow Airport and indeed my inbound flight was diverted to Katowice!   So obviously the bussing of passengers to and from other airports happens all the time so should be a well practiced operation.

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

Small Claim issued                                          2 March 2020 (response date 13 April)

 

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Arguing against weather as an extraordinary circumstance is tough.

 

The crux of the EU261 regulations all relate to airport point of departure so you are struggling in your case as the inbound was diverted for fog.  You cannot argue any other way.  If they were saying that your delay was due to knock on from fog elsewhere then you have a case and supporting case law about knock on effect.  Unfortunately you were delayed as the point of departure could not take the inbound flight, this I believe counts as extraordinary as the airline could do nothing to mitigate against this.  It is unfortunate that Krakow suffers from fog and that it should have plans in place to deal with it but that does not alter the fact that it was firmly beyond the control of Ryanair.

 

How they treated you after that is typical Ryanair (shockingly) but it does not give you a case for EU261 compensation.  Compensation all comes down to the fog issue. You could argue that they failed in their duty of care responsibilities in relation to EU261 regulations but again that gives you no entitlement to compensation.  Also small claims can do nothing to enforce such a failure unless it causes you actual loss for which you are reclaiming.

 

Can you explain again why you think that you are legally entitled to the 400 Euro compensation?  Simply being delayed is not reason enough.

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I'm claiming EU compensation as part of my claim as I did experience a delay in over 3 hours.  This is not in dispute.  I am more interested in recovering my losses as a result of Ryanairs failure to carry out what they promised to do!   If they had supplied the coaches etc as promised there would be no comeback from me.  I would have been rightly pissed off with the huges delay (neasrly 10 hours) but at least I would have got home.

Yes, I agree proving the EU 261 element of my claim will prove difficult but I through it in there as a belt and braces approach.  However, I do belive they owe me what I paid out to get me home as they to all intents and purposes, abandoned me and nearly 100 others.  Any rerouting option was either unacceptable, ie, several days waiting or none was offered.

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

Small Claim issued                                          2 March 2020 (response date 13 April)

 

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A few other points that keep nagging at me........

 

The email sent from Ryanair at 17.29 apologising for delay etc and setting out the options of refund or rerouting.   At this point, they were intending to fulfull the flight (which they did), so why give this out?

 

The flight did go ahead, so why were Ryanair still willing to give me a refund when effectively they are saying I missed the flight?

 

The more I think about it, they effectively denied me boarding the flight in KAtowice.

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

Small Claim issued                                          2 March 2020 (response date 13 April)

 

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