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OA260
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Ryanair Loses Ash Cloud Legal Battle Must Pay Out

Thu Jan 31, 2013 11:12 am

A ruling today has said that Ryanair must pay for expenses of passengers effected by the ash cloud disruptions.

Ryanair loses ash cloud appeal

Ryanair must reimburse passengers for meals, transport and lodging after flight delays caused by a 2010 volcano eruption, the European Union's highest court said today.

Ryanair and other airlines are obliged to "provide care" to passengers whose flight was canceled, the EU Court of Justice in Luxembourg ruled today. While the airlines must pay for reasonable expenses, the court said they don't have to pay statutory compensation to passengers because of the extraordinary circumstances.

http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/breaking/2013/0131/breaking20.html

It seems now that there could be a huge amount of people now claiming from Ryanair for expenses they racked up during the period air space was closed.
 
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moo
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Ryanair Loses Ash Cloud Legal Battle Must Pay Out

Thu Jan 31, 2013 11:26 am

I'm in two minds about this - other travel methods don't have this sort of burden, and as airspace was closed then the decision was taken out of Ryanairs hands in reality, so I'm not entirely convinced that Ryanair should have to bear the cost of recompensing passengers for what could amount to an unknown period of disruption that could not have been mitigated by the airline.

A better resolution would have been to force those insurance companies that refused to pay out to actually honour their insurance claims...
 
ScottishDavie
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Ryanair Loses Ash Cloud Legal Battle Must Pay Out

Thu Jan 31, 2013 1:35 pm

Quoting moo (Reply 1):
I'm in two minds about this - other travel methods don't have this sort of burden,.....

I'm not the greatest FR fan but I tend to agree with moo. There is something inherently illogical about a passenger who has paid a few pounds to fly with FR being entitled to substantial compensation from them if the flight can't operate because of circumstances entirely outwith their control. The insurance point is well made.

BTW could a moderator please amend the heading to this thread so that the second word is spelled correctly?

[Edited 2013-01-31 05:38:30]
 
1400mph
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Ryanair Loses Ash Cloud Legal Battle Must Pay Out

Thu Jan 31, 2013 1:59 pm

It's ridiculous.

People have to take responsibilty for their own actions and choices.

If you choose to leave your habitat / home then you must be prepared for all eventualities whilst away. I'm sure most of us just play the percentages and hope a volcano doesn't erupt etc or we'd never go anywhere.

An airline doesn't force you to travel somewhere....you are 'choosing' to travel through your own free will and paying them for a provided service !! Not the other way around.

The only people an airline should be responsible for once they've disembarked the aircraft ( if some catastrophe or event outside the airlines control occurs) is its flight and cabin crew.

Does an airline become a persons 'legal guardian' ?

BA flew me to Nairobi where I got my leg bitten off whilst on Safari. How dare they transport me to such a dangerous environment. Call the lawyers !!
 
shufflemoomin
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Ryanair Loses Ash Cloud Legal Battle Must Pay Out

Thu Jan 31, 2013 2:08 pm

Quoting moo (Reply 1):
other travel methods don't have this sort of burden,

With the exception of cruise ships, most other travel methods don't have you more than a few hundred miles from home. With ground based transport, there are other options to get your to your destination but that's usually not the case with flying. For long distances, people usually fly so airlines have to take different care of people. I'm pretty sure cruise companies are under the same sort of obligation.
 
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moo
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Ryanair Loses Ash Cloud Legal Battle Must Pay Out

Thu Jan 31, 2013 2:16 pm

Quoting shufflemoomin (Reply 4):

Yes that is true, but in this case if you were stopped from flying from Paris to London by the grounding, Ryanair would be on the hook for either putting you up in a hotel or finding you an alternative route home at their cost, while if the cross channel ferries stop for some reason the ferry companies are not required to put you up in a hotel nor buy you passage on an aircraft or the Channel Tunnel.
 
silentbob
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Ryanair Loses Ash Cloud Legal Battle Must Pay Out

Thu Jan 31, 2013 2:22 pm

European courts continue to amaze me. The governments shut down the air space, then require the airlines to compensate people for being inconvenienced. The airlines were prohibited from taking people to their destinations, yet they still have to pay. Mind-boggling
 
Quokkas
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Ryanair Loses Ash Cloud Legal Battle Must Pay Out

Thu Jan 31, 2013 2:24 pm

Quoting ScottishDavie (Reply 2):
something inherently illogical about a passenger who has paid a few pounds to fly with FR

As we don't know what individual passengers may have paid the cost of the ticket is an irrelevance. If you book a taxi to take you a distance of two miles or twenty miles and you are injured in a collision the amount of injury you sustain is just as much, despite the fare normally due to the taxi driver being higher or lower. The original intent behind the law may have been to ensure that airlines honour their contracts and convey passengers with the minimum of delay and compensate for undue delay. The amount of the fare is immaterial to the essential nature of the contract. If a contract is broken then people should be entitled to compensation.

That said. I do question why the airline should be held responsible when they were not the ones who made the decision to close airspace. Clearly this was a case of force majeure - a circumstance that the airlines could not reasonably predict anymore than the passengers could have. Was there any precedent? Not as far as I am aware. So in may humble opinion, the limitation of the airlines (not just FR) would reasonably have been to either arrange alternative flights when possible or to offer a refund of the fare paid. However, that isn't what the law says in the opinion of the learned judges. FR will have to cough up to those who kept documentary evidence of expenses directly related to cancellations and delays. In the meantime the airlines may collectively pressure for legislative changes to avoid similar situations in future.

Insurance is another issue. Many policies have exclusions that state things similar to "we will not cover anything that you can claim from somebody else," and/ or "if you travel against the advice or warnings in the media." How many people actually read their policies before making a claim, let alone buying cover?
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Web500sjc
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Ryanair Loses Ash Cloud Legal Battle Must Pay Out

Thu Jan 31, 2013 2:25 pm

Quoting OA260 (Thread starter):
While the airlines must pay for reasonable expenses, the court said they don't have to pay statutory compensation to passengers because of the extraordinary circumstances.

it does say Reasonable compensation- since the passenger only paid for 1 EUR in fare maybe they should only get 1 EUR back, that seams reasonable...
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UALWN
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Ryanair Loses Ash Cloud Legal Battle Must Pay Out

Thu Jan 31, 2013 3:25 pm

Quoting 1400mph (Reply 3):
An airline doesn't force you to travel somewhere....you are 'choosing' to travel through your own free will and paying them for a provided service !!

A service that FR didn't provide: they didn't fly the passengers back home as stipulated in the contract.

Quoting 1400mph (Reply 3):
BA flew me to Nairobi where I got my leg bitten off whilst on Safari. How dare they transport me to such a dangerous environment. Call the lawyers !!

I really really fail to see how this is relevant.
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cmf
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Ryanair Loses Ash Cloud Legal Battle Must Pay Out

Thu Jan 31, 2013 3:44 pm

Quoting ScottishDavie (Reply 2):
There is something inherently illogical about a passenger who has paid a few pounds to fly with FR being entitled to substantial compensation from them if the flight can't operate because of circumstances entirely outwith their control.

As Quokkas said, the price paid for a service is of no importance. The airline said they would deliver something but didn't. How much they wanted for it is irrelevant once both parties have agreed and it is paid.

Quoting 1400mph (Reply 3):
People have to take responsibilty for their own actions and choices.

I agree people should take responsibility for their actions. I do not understand why airlines shouldn't? I have no idea how an individual has more responsibility for an airline not operating than the airline.

Quoting 1400mph (Reply 3):
BA flew me to Nairobi where I got my leg bitten off whilst on Safari. How dare they transport me to such a dangerous environment. Call the lawyers !!

No similarity to the issue at hand. In this example BA delivered you to Nairobi as agreed. Ryanair failed to deliver what they had agreed to provide.

Quoting web500sjc (Reply 8):
it does say Reasonable compensation- since the passenger only paid for 1 EUR in fare maybe they should only get 1 EUR back, that seams reasonable...

As explained above reasonable compensation is for costs caused by not providing promised service. Agreed price paid for the service becomes irrelevant once agreed and paid.
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Quokkas
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Ryanair Loses Ash Cloud Legal Battle Must Pay Out

Thu Jan 31, 2013 3:45 pm

Quoting web500sjc (Reply 8):
since the passenger only paid for 1 EUR in fare

The passenger? Which one? FR carries more than one passenger per year, indeed per flight and I understand from the prices quoted on their website (and from their annual accounts it is obvious) passengers normally pay a lot more than 1€. How else could the company survive for so long?

But reasonable in the context of the decision is not linked to the fare paid. It is reasonable in terms of the length of the delay, the number of meals consumed and any accommodation required based on the location and normal costs. So for a delay of less than eight hours accommodation may not be required but a couple of meals and some drinks (non-alcoholic) might be regarded as reasonable. A taxi fare to the most expensive restaurant in town when there are plenty of alternatives available at the airport would not. Similarly, if accommodation is required, a standard room at a basic hotel may be reasonable. The penthouse/ presidential suite at a leading hotel of the world might not unless it can be shown no other choice was available.
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moo
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Ryanair Loses Ash Cloud Legal Battle Must Pay Out

Thu Jan 31, 2013 3:50 pm

But why is this specific to airlines? I was stuck in London overnight recently when trains were cancelled due to the snow - the train company isn't required to provide me with a hotel or meals, I had to do all that myself.
 
ScottishDavie
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Ryanair Loses Ash Cloud Legal Battle Must Pay Out

Thu Jan 31, 2013 3:58 pm

Quoting Quokkas (Reply 7):
As we don't know what individual passengers may have paid the cost of the ticket is an irrelevance. If you book a taxi to take you a distance of two miles or twenty miles and you are injured in a collision the amount of injury you sustain is just as much, despite the fare normally due to the taxi driver being higher or lower.

I have no idea what taxi fares and/or personal injuries have to do with anything. If I hire a taxi to take me from A to B and half way through the journey torrential rain falls, the roads flood and the taxi driver can neither take me to my destination nor return me to my starting point do I have the right to claim accommodation, meals and all the rest from the taxi company? Of course not and I wouldn't even try.

Quoting web500sjc (Reply 8):
it does say Reasonable compensation- since the passenger only paid for 1 EUR in fare maybe they should only get 1 EUR back, that seams reasonable...

  


Quoting UALWN (Reply 9):
Quoting 1400mph (Reply 3):
BA flew me to Nairobi where I got my leg bitten off whilst on Safari. How dare they transport me to such a dangerous environment. Call the lawyers !!

I really really fail to see how this is relevant.

It may not be relevant but it's amusingly ironic, at least to me
 
art
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Ryanair Loses Ash Cloud Legal Battle Must Pay Out

Thu Jan 31, 2013 4:07 pm

Quoting silentbob (Reply 6):
European courts continue to amaze me. The governments shut down the air space, then require the airlines to compensate people for being inconvenienced. The airlines were prohibited from taking people to their destinations, yet they still have to pay. Mind-boggling

It's the law that amazes me somewhat. As you say the airlines are effectively being forced to insure their customers against their carriage contract being frustrated by government-appointed bodies making it impossible for airlines to honour their contract. I think the law should be changed.
 
rfields5421
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Ryanair Loses Ash Cloud Legal Battle Must Pay Out

Thu Jan 31, 2013 4:08 pm

Quoting moo (Reply 12):
But why is this specific to airlines?

Tradition.

Airlines were imposed similar responsibilities to shipping lines when they were first created. About having passengers stranded a far from home destinations. This grew into the current system as airline travel expanded world-wide.

That said - I have to contrast what happened in Europe during this event to what happened in Canada after the US airspace was closed on 9/11/01.

Though Canada faced a major problem - their approx 33,000 unplanned visitors was much smaller than those stranded across Europe.

As to why the suit and judgement against RyanAir -

I believe, but cannot cite a reference, that RyanAir took a hard-line stance that stranded passengers were not the airline's problem when the volcano shutdown occured. This forum had several threads about the efforts of other airlines to assist their stranded passengers - and other threads about RyanAir saying 'Not my problem'

I could be wrong, but my impression at the time was that RyanAir was being the worst a**hole airline in Europe as far as helping passengers get home.
 
Quokkas
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Ryanair Loses Ash Cloud Legal Battle Must Pay Out

Thu Jan 31, 2013 4:09 pm

Quoting moo (Reply 12):
But why is this specific to airlines?

A good question. But with buses and railways it is often normal (for domestic travel at least) to just walk up and buy a ticket at the station or on-board the conveyance. This is not typical of airlines that usually sell tickets far in advance of the date of travel. That isn't to say that you can't just turn up and get on a flight if seats happen to be available or that you can't book a rail or coach ticket for long-distance in advance, but when the legislation was first drafted it was far less common. If a person has not booked and paid for transport in advance, no contractual obligation exists and therefore no compensation is due.

Again, that is an issue that needs looking at with the legislation being updated so that the same principals apply in similar circumstances, regardless of the form of transport. Where competition exists on a number of routes (rail, coach and air to the same destinations from the same origin) it is unfair that one service provider enjoys an advantage over another. Whatever legislative changes that may occur in future, it is likely that the guiding principal would remain whether a contractual obligation exists and that would exclude ad hoc (walk-up, pay on board) travel arrangements like those of the tube, local bus company, etc.



Corrected spelling not picked up by spellchecker

[Edited 2013-01-31 08:34:50]
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readytotaxi
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Ryanair Loses Ash Cloud Legal Battle Must Pay Out

Thu Jan 31, 2013 4:15 pm

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-21273666

It would appear that all this ended up at the ECJ because the Irish court was unsure how to proceed.

" Her case had been referred to the ECJ by the Dublin Metropolitan District Court, which had sought clarification of EU law."

And see this.

But the judges' ruling - now binding across the EU - said such events "constitute 'extraordinary circumstances' which do not release air carriers from their obligation to provide care".

EU airlines beware.
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Quokkas
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Ryanair Loses Ash Cloud Legal Battle Must Pay Out

Thu Jan 31, 2013 4:25 pm

Quoting ScottishDavie (Reply 13):
I have no idea what taxi fares and/or personal injuries have to do with anything.

The point is that the fare paid is not relevant and that was your original objection. The damage sustained to a customer is not related to the fare paid. Quite simple really. Just because someone may have paid less (and it has not be shown in any evidence that they did - it is merely assumed that they did) does not mean that they are less entitled to whatever compensation is available under law.

Why it applies only to airlines and not other forms of transport is quite separate to the level of fares and was not an issue raised in your post but I have addressed that question in subsequent contributions. For me the real issue is why the airlines should be held liable for government actions. While the airlines might reasonably compensate the passengers for not being able to honour their obligations as a result of government directives, I do believe that the airlines should then be able to claim that back from the governments involved in one shape or form.
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packsonflight
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Ryanair Loses Ash Cloud Legal Battle Must Pay Out

Thu Jan 31, 2013 4:32 pm

Under standard Force Majeure clause they would not be responsible I would think.

"Force majeure is generally intended to include risks beyond the reasonable control of a party, incurred not as a product or result of the negligence or malfeasance of a party, which have a materially adverse effect on the ability of such party to perform its obligations,[4] as where non-performance is caused by the usual and natural consequences of external forces (for example, predicted rain stops an outdoor event), or where the intervening circumstances are specifically contemplated".
(Wikipedia)
 
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Aesma
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Ryanair Loses Ash Cloud Legal Battle Must Pay Out

Thu Jan 31, 2013 4:41 pm

Nobody forces me to drive but if I do I must insure my car. That's the same logic with airlines, they must prepare for that kind of situation.

Quoting moo (Reply 1):
and as airspace was closed then the decision was taken out of Ryanairs hands in reality

Well even if the airspace wasn't closed we don't want airlines to take risks because it's cheaper than the alternative.

Quoting rfields5421 (Reply 15):
other threads about RyanAir saying 'Not my problem'

And saying people were morons etc., in typical Ryanair fashion.
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YULWinterSkies
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Ryanair Loses Ash Cloud Legal Battle Must Pay Out

Fri Feb 01, 2013 2:25 am

Quoting silentbob (Reply 6):
European courts continue to amaze me. The governments shut down the air space, then require the airlines to compensate people for being inconvenienced. The airlines were prohibited from taking people to their destinations, yet they still have to pay. Mind-boggling

You know this thing called insurance. Airlines can probably get covered for this, just like your own insurance can cover you for travel issues.

Quoting art (Reply 14):
It's the law that amazes me somewhat. As you say the airlines are effectively being forced to insure their customers against their carriage contract being frustrated by government-appointed bodies making it impossible for airlines to honour their contract. I think the law should be changed.


I don't know why you're saying so. It's not like they aren't free to raise the fares to compensate for the potential refunds they will have to make.
Without an obligation to compensate pax, airlines would otherwise take the inverse approach, which in my opinion is taken on a routine basis in the US: accuse the weather whenever it looks bad enough, cancel the money-losing flight, tell pax to go pi-- off when they ask whether they are eligible for compensation. When I see how little snow can cancel so many regional flights and how many people end up renting car to get home, I sometimes wonder... After all, airlines are among the most hated companies in the US, and there are multiple reasons behind this.

I know I'm going to get unpopular, oh whatever, no one is entitled to anything, except their own opinion.

Quoting rfields5421 (Reply 15):
I could be wrong, but my impression at the time was that RyanAir was being the worst a**hole airline in Europe as far as helping passengers get home.

Of course they were, they still are and will always be.

Quoting usxguy (Reply 22):
maybe its in Queen's English instead of American English?

Nope.
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ely747
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RE: Ryanair Loses Ash Cloud Legal Battle Must Pay Out

Fri Feb 01, 2013 6:18 am

As much as I don't want to, I must say that I agree with MOL's above statement.
 
spencer
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RE: Ryanair Loses Ash Cloud Legal Battle Must Pay Out

Fri Feb 01, 2013 6:40 am

iirc, being an affected pax at the time, I was able (freely, might I add) to change my date of departure and that was that. The only issue I've ever had was when we got snowed in a couple of years ago at STN one night and ALL flights were canx. A RYR rep came on the bull horn and reassured everyone that rebooking was the only option. This then resulted in every single hotel room in the area being booked and pretty much nothing could get in or out of the airport. I ended up on the bench for one night which I wish they (RYR) could've compensated me for, somehow but again, I don't know what they could've done anyway, to improve on the situation.
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AeroWesty
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RE: Ryanair Loses Ash Cloud Legal Battle Must Pay Out

Fri Feb 01, 2013 7:11 am

Does Ryanair still charge the €2 fee to cover EU 261 claims? Seems like they were planning on being on the losing end of claims.

Ryanair to introduce EU261 compensation levy of €2
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ely747
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RE: Ryanair Loses Ash Cloud Legal Battle Must Pay Out

Fri Feb 01, 2013 7:32 am

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 26):

Yes, they do. See below the attached.
Big version: Width: 794 Height: 512 File size: 1192kb
Levy charge


[Edited 2013-01-31 23:33:32]
 
flyingturtle
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RE: Ryanair Loses Ash Cloud Legal Battle Must Pay Out

Fri Feb 01, 2013 8:52 am

Quoting 1400mph (Reply 3):
If you choose to leave your habitat / home then you must be prepared for all eventualities whilst away. I'm sure most of us just play the percentages and hope a volcano doesn't erupt etc or we'd never go anywhere.

A contract is a contract. I pay, and FR or U2 or BA will fly me from A to B on the specified date. Buying a ticket comes at a inherent risk to both the passenger and the airline. If I buy a non-refundable ticket and then a loved one dies on the day I wanted to fly - I've got a problem, not the airline.

Eyafiallajoküll erupts up there in Iceland? The airline got a problem, not me. There are always risks in doing business, and businessmen know how to look at them, calculate them and take proper measures.

The interest rates on loans are risk premiums. If you think a debtor is in trouble, you want to raise the interests. If you think your money is safe, you lower the interests. A debtor in trouble does not have to pay back the loans, because... that risk is already covered by the interest rates. Business hazard simple and easy. And that's why I find the EU politics towards Greece deeply troubling: The governments are asked to help out the banks that did not properly insure their *own* risks.

Quoting 1400mph (Reply 3):
Does an airline become a persons 'legal guardian' ?

Oh yes they do. As an alpine tour guide I have a contractual duty to protect the lives of my "customers". I have to take every reasonable measure to do that. The people doing alpine hikes with me are specifically asking for my experience and expertise, they specifically are giving up their own responsability, but in turn they get to do something they would (or should) not do on their own. And they have to follow my orders. 

It's not as easy as you think. The same happens with airline travel.


David
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jet72uk
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RE: Ryanair Loses Ash Cloud Legal Battle Must Pay Out

Fri Feb 01, 2013 9:00 am

This is brilliant news.
 
1400mph
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RE: Ryanair Loses Ash Cloud Legal Battle Must Pay Out

Fri Feb 01, 2013 9:19 am

Quoting cmf (Reply 10):
Quoting 1400mph (Reply 3):BA flew me to Nairobi where I got my leg bitten off whilst on Safari. How dare they transport me to such a dangerous environment. Call the lawyers !!
No similarity to the issue at hand. In this example BA delivered you to Nairobi as agreed. Ryanair failed to deliver what they had agreed to provide.

It is the same thing. By allowing the airline to transport you it resulted in you getting your leg bit off or in this case getting stuck somehere.

Both incidents occured whilst you were not on board the aircraft and at your destination.

I expect the government to keep the highway system safe and moving. I don't expect them to pay for my accomodation if I get stuck at Aunty Doreens in Skegness due to bad weather and can't afford to look after myself during my extended stay.

If it is not the fault of the airline it is not the fault of the airline. End of.

If it is the airlines fault then different story.

[Edited 2013-02-01 01:20:08]
 
s5daw
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RE: Ryanair Loses Ash Cloud Legal Battle Must Pay Out

Fri Feb 01, 2013 9:40 am

As a business owner, I find this crazy.

Recently I was stranded at MUC due to heavy snow. All the hotels were booked, we had to sleep on the terminal. We got no food coupons or anything (which _might_ be a good thing for the Airline to do, just to better position their brand).

But really, what could they do? They can't get us on other planes, can't put us on trains or any other means of transport. It was completely out of their hands.

So why not simply be reasonable about it, have a story to tell about a night spent on the terminal, and be done with it??
 
Dogbreath
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RE: Ryanair Loses Ash Cloud Legal Battle Must Pay Out

Fri Feb 01, 2013 9:58 am

Quoting jet72uk (Reply 29):
This is brilliant news.

Why may I ask do say this is good news?

This probably won't affect Ryanair too much. I believe they've got roughly €4 billion in cash in the bank at any one time, and may just add another fee to compensate.

But what about all those other airlines struggling to stay afloat. This ruling must be a disaster to them. Another major weather event or a blanket airspace closure due to volcanic ash, this ruling could kill them off. Surely the last thing we need in European airspace is more airline departures, as Ryanair grows even larger. Yeah that's just great news!! Not!
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AndyEastMids
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RE: Ryanair Loses Ash Cloud Legal Battle Must Pay Out

Fri Feb 01, 2013 10:02 am

Really good news Ryanair lost... This ruling by the EU court wasn't really about what the law says and what obligations it creates - which you can either agree with or disagree with... It was about Ryanair deciding it could ignore the law.

Many airlines took a compliant, helpful and sympathetic approach with respect to the volcano - for example, I was in San Francisco and my flight was cancelled between leaving the hotel (already checked in) and reaching the airport... Within a few minutes, I was rebooked on a future flight and back in a hotel, courtesy of an airline that isn't even an EU airline.

Ryanair can bitch and moan, campaign to have the law changed, do pretty much anything it wants to, except ignore the law. That's what this case was about and that's why they lost.
 
kdhurst380
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RE: Ryanair Loses Ash Cloud Legal Battle Must Pay Out

Fri Feb 01, 2013 10:28 am

This all boils down to the fact that Ryanair is a low cost carrier, keeping it's costs minimal so that those savings can be passed on to passengers.

I can only guess that this law was passed to stop airlines dodging a duty of care where the situation was inside their control or their fault, however, this was a government decision that airlines didn't contract to or sign up to, yet they're still burdened with all the costs; that isn't fair in the slightest.

Of course the EU were never going to take on these costs, why would they when they're up to their eyeballs in debt and have a law to hide behind. I'm not surprised David Cameron wants an in or out vote, when an organisation can act in such a manner; but that's for another day.
 
UALWN
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RE: Ryanair Loses Ash Cloud Legal Battle Must Pay Out

Fri Feb 01, 2013 10:40 am

Quoting 1400mph (Reply 30):
If it is not the fault of the airline it is not the fault of the airline. End of.

Not really. There's EU rule 261 that stipulates compensation even in the event of "force majeure." The funny thing is that FR already charges 2 pounds per segment to cover their expenses under rule EU261:

http://www.ryanair.com/en/news/ryana...-eu261-compensation-levy-of-2-euro

They explicitly mention the 2010 volcano mess in that press release.
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cmf
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RE: Ryanair Loses Ash Cloud Legal Battle Must Pay Out

Fri Feb 01, 2013 10:42 am

Quoting 1400mph (Reply 30):
It is the same thing. By allowing the airline to transport you it resulted in you getting your leg bit off or in this case getting stuck somehere.

No, they are completely different. In your BA example BA delivered as contracted. In the Ryanair case they failed to deliver as contrcted.

Quoting 1400mph (Reply 30):
Both incidents occured whilst you were not on board the aircraft and at your destination.

This is where your logic takes you wrong.

Quoting 1400mph (Reply 30):
If it is not the fault of the airline it is not the fault of the airline. End of.

Nor is it the fault of the individual, it is not the fault of the individual, it is not the fault of the individual. But it is the airline who didn't deliver as contracted. The individuals complied with their parts of the contract.

Quoting Dogbreath (Reply 32):
This probably won't affect Ryanair too much. I believe they've got roughly €4 billion in cash in the bank at any one time, and may just add another fee to compensate.

They already add a fee for these situations.
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s5daw
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RE: Ryanair Loses Ash Cloud Legal Battle Must Pay Out

Fri Feb 01, 2013 10:51 am

Quoting UALWN (Reply 35):
There's EU rule 261 that stipulates compensation even in the event of "force majeure."

Wikipedia says:

"The airline is also required to pay cash compensation as described below, unless one of the following conditions applies:
...
- the cancellation was caused by extraordinary circumstances that could not have been avoided by any reasonable measure".

The same information is found on Ryanair's http://www.ryanair.com/doc/faqs/eu261-en.pdf and more or less any other EU carrier's page.

Is this information incorrect?
 
Pe@rson
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RE: Ryanair Loses Ash Cloud Legal Battle Must Pay Out

Fri Feb 01, 2013 10:52 am

.

Quoting cmf (Reply 36):
But it is the airline who didn't deliver as contracted.

Yes - because of the decision-making of others. (Which is not to suggest that airlines would have flown if it were up to them.) As such, it seems illogical to me for airlines to be responsible, financial and not, following the decision-making of others. Perhaps the airlines should have paid and sought compensation from the governments.
"Everyone writing for the Telegraph knows that the way to grab eyeballs is with Ryanair and/or sex."
 
ely747
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RE: Ryanair Loses Ash Cloud Legal Battle Must Pay Out

Fri Feb 01, 2013 10:55 am

In North America, people are told to not travel to the airport well before the impact of adverse weather conditions. We don't see many pictures of people sleeping rough on the floor at JFK/ BOS or YYZ etc. like over here in Europe. It's almost the same story repeating every winter. Is it because of more precise and accurate weather forecast in US / Canada?

[Edited 2013-02-01 02:57:45]
 
s5daw
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RE: Ryanair Loses Ash Cloud Legal Battle Must Pay Out

Fri Feb 01, 2013 11:00 am

Quoting ely747 (Reply 39):
In North America, people are told to not travel to the airport well before the impact of adverse weather conditions.

Uhmm... http://english.eastday.com/e/101229/u1a5638079.html
 
ely747
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RE: Ryanair Loses Ash Cloud Legal Battle Must Pay Out

Fri Feb 01, 2013 11:16 am

Quoting s5daw (Reply 40):


Okey okey don't take it that seriously   I never said such scenarios do not occur at all. Of course they do, but with less frequency and less chaos. I dare say, the US north east coast gets far more snow fall and freeze then what we usually see in Western Europe. If it was down to me, I would hire the Canadians to manage winter preparedness at major European airports and I am pretty sure the business would have been taken care of by now.
 
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anfromme
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RE: Ryanair Loses Ash Cloud Legal Battle Must Pay Out

Fri Feb 01, 2013 11:24 am

Quoting silentbob (Reply 6):
European courts continue to amaze me. The governments shut down the air space, then require the airlines to compensate people for being inconvenienced. The airlines were prohibited from taking people to their destinations, yet they still have to pay. Mind-boggling

You misunderstand - the court ruling stated explicitly that no compensation is to be paid.
However, hotel and food costs are to be reimbursed.
This was the legal situation even before the ash cloud happened, so it's something every airline in the EU will have to be aware of. It's just that Ryanair chose not to comply with the regulations, got sued about it - and lost (not for the first time, either). Which had been widely expected by legal experts, too.

As it happens, I was stuck in Tokyo at the time, after a 3-week holiday in Japan. Literally the other side of the world, and one of the most expensive cities anywhere. We were supposed to fly out on the 18th of April and didn't get back until the 24th.
There's a surprising number of things you need to take care of when you're stuck abroad for way longer than planned. Such as visas potentially expiring, informing your employer (and making arrangements with them on the extended leave, which isn't really your fault, either), finding new accommodation, trying to establish contact with the airline while ensuring you're also available in case they want to call you (not as easy as it sounds, as Japan uses a mobile phone frequency band that in 2010 wasn't supported by most phones sold elsewhere), making trips to and from the airport in case there's room on a flight that's going to get you back home, making sure bills at home are paid on time, etc. Never mind that everybody's not in the best of moods in that sort of situation.

So yeah, it certainly was at least a bit of a relief to not have to worry about the additional cost of accommodation and food at that time. And yeah, it was EU law at the time already that airlines would have to reimburse you, so I certainly would expect my carrier to adhere to that - rather than having to sue them.
The very efficient and unbureaucratic way in which Virgin (in our case) handled this made actually me a lot more likely to choose Virgin again in the future.
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anfromme
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RE: Ryanair Loses Ash Cloud Legal Battle Must Pay Out

Fri Feb 01, 2013 11:37 am

Quoting cmf (Reply 10):
I agree people should take responsibility for their actions. I do not understand why airlines shouldn't? I have no idea how an individual has more responsibility for an airline not operating than the airline.

  

Quoting readytotaxi (Reply 17):
But the judges' ruling - now binding across the EU - said such events "constitute 'extraordinary circumstances' which do not release air carriers from their obligation to provide care".

EU airlines beware.

They don't have to. All airlines are aware of this legislation and acted accordingly. It's just Ryanair that had to be sued over it because they weren't compliant; and now they're acting all surprised that they lost and add some stuff about how if this holds, ticket prices will have to increase. Possibly true for Ryanair - but only because they didn't price in the potential effects of legislation that they were very aware of and that all other EU airlines (to my knowledge) adhered to (and probably had priced into their tickets as well).

Case in point being Virgin Atlantic - I can testify that they were very aware of the legislation. They actually entered an arrangement with BA (!) to get us back home as quickly as possible, and then had a dedicated webpage set up to make it as easy as possible to claim accommodation and meal expenses incurred by passenger that were stuck due to the ash cloud.

So just to reiterate - no concern for the EU airline industry needed. This court rule just reiterates what was the status quo long before the ash cloud happened, and all EU airlines knew this and acted accordingly. All but one, anyway.
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1400mph
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RE: Ryanair Loses Ash Cloud Legal Battle Must Pay Out

Fri Feb 01, 2013 11:48 am

When does common sense feature in this scenario ?

What if there was a major volcanic eruption that played havoc with and grounded airline travel for months ?

Quoting cmf (Reply 36):
Nor is it the fault of the individual, it is not the fault of the individual, it is not the fault of the individual. But it is the airline who didn't deliver as contracted. The individuals complied with their parts of the contract.

Yes I do agree with you but it's not the fault of the airline is it. Surely their only obligation is to fulfil their obligations when it is safe to do so ??

The paramount concern of any airline is afterall safety is it not ?

Maybe we should blame Iceland ? It was their volcano !

 

Isn't it just a case of tough sh*t ?
 
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anfromme
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RE: Ryanair Loses Ash Cloud Legal Battle Must Pay Out

Fri Feb 01, 2013 12:04 pm

Quoting AndyEastMids (Reply 33):
Many airlines took a compliant, helpful and sympathetic approach with respect to the volcano - for example, I was in San Francisco and my flight was cancelled between leaving the hotel (already checked in) and reaching the airport... Within a few minutes, I was rebooked on a future flight and back in a hotel, courtesy of an airline that isn't even an EU airline.

Ryanair can bitch and moan, campaign to have the law changed, do pretty much anything it wants to, except ignore the law. That's what this case was about and that's why they lost.

  

Quoting kdhurst380 (Reply 34):
I can only guess that this law was passed to stop airlines dodging a duty of care where the situation was inside their control or their fault, however, this was a government decision that airlines didn't contract to or sign up to

This was not the decision of any government, least of all an EU government (which doesn't exist as such). As evident by the fact that even Serbia, Norway, Switzerland and other non-EU member states closed their airspace as well. The decision to close airspace was purely down to local air safety and air control authorities, not to Angela Merkel, . There was never a full lockdown, either - parts of Irish airspace were still open while German aispace and big parts of the UK's airspace were closed down.

Quoting kdhurst380 (Reply 34):
Of course the EU were never going to take on these costs, why would they when they're up to their eyeballs in debt and have a law to hide behind. I'm not surprised David Cameron wants an in or out vote, when an organisation can act in such a manner; but that's for another day.

This may go against a simple "Everything bad is the EU's fault" line of thought, but: The airspace closure has absolutely nothing to do with the UK's position in the EU, or even the EU at all. There was never any EU directive telling everybody to shut down. As I said above - plenty of non-EU countries closed their airspace (or parts thereof) as well. The British Civil Aviation Authority could have chosen to leave UK airspace open based on their own best judgement. But - they didn't. In fact, they closed parts of Scottish and Northern Irish airspace when all other EU countries were pretty much back to normal again. They just may have had a factual reason for that.

The only part where the EU comes into play in this whole affair is the legislation stipulating that airlines reimburse their passengers for meals and accommodation while they're stuck. As things stand, this legislation was agreed to by all EU member countries, including the UK, so all airlines in EU countries have to adhere to it.
If somebody wants to have that particular piece of legislation changed, they're free to bring in a motion to that effect. None of the major airlines - including VS and BA - have so far shown any inclination to do so, though.
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flyingturtle
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RE: Ryanair Loses Ash Cloud Legal Battle Must Pay Out

Fri Feb 01, 2013 12:13 pm

Quoting 1400mph (Reply 3):
If you choose to leave your habitat / home then you must be prepared for all eventualities whilst away. I'm sure most of us just play the percentages and hope a volcano doesn't erupt etc or we'd never go anywhere.

A contract is a contract. I pay, and FR or U2 or BA will fly me from A to B on the specified date. Buying a ticket comes at a inherent risk to both the passenger and the airline. If I buy a non-refundable ticket and then a loved one dies on the day I wanted to fly - I've got a problem, not the airline.

Eyafiallajoküll erupts up there in Iceland? The airline got a problem, not me. There are always risks in doing business, and businessmen know how to look at them, calculate them and take proper measures.

Quoting 1400mph (Reply 3):
Does an airline become a persons 'legal guardian' ?

Oh yes they do. As an alpine tour guide I have a contractual duty to protect the lives of my "customers". I have to take every reasonable measure to do that. The people doing alpine hikes with me are specifically asking for my experience and expertise, they specifically are giving up their own responsability, but in turn they get to do something they would (or should) not do on their own. And they have to follow my orders. 

It's not as easy as you think. The same happens with airline travel.


David
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anfromme
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RE: Ryanair Loses Ash Cloud Legal Battle Must Pay Out

Fri Feb 01, 2013 12:21 pm

Quoting UALWN (Reply 35):
Not really. There's EU rule 261 that stipulates compensation even in the event of "force majeure." The funny thing is that FR already charges 2 pounds per segment to cover their expenses under rule EU261:

http://www.ryanair.com/en/news/ryana...-eu261-compensation-levy-of-2-euro

They explicitly mention the 2010 volcano mess in that press release.

So they have to be sued to actually pay out, but still charge an extra levy of £2/€2 per flight to cover their expenses incurred by that legislation? I can only assume they actually mean covering legal expenses by that  
Quoting s5daw (Reply 37):
Quoting UALWN (Reply 35):
There's EU rule 261 that stipulates compensation even in the event of "force majeure."

Wikipedia says:

"The airline is also required to pay cash compensation as described below, unless one of the following conditions applies:
...
- the cancellation was caused by extraordinary circumstances that could not have been avoided by any reasonable measure".

The same information is found on Ryanair's http://www.ryanair.com/doc/faqs/eu261-en.pdf and more or less any other EU carrier's page.

Is this information incorrect?

Yup. Note the difference between "compensation" and "reimbursement", though.
Compensation basically refers to a sort of damage payment, e.g. for getting to you destination later than planned, not at all, etc. This compensation is only due under certain circumstances - depending on the total delay, distance travelled, reason for delay/cancellation, etc., and the maximum compensation amount specified by EU regulation 261 is €600.
However, reimbursement of meals, accommodation, etc. when a flight is delayed or cancelled is due under almost all circumstances for any flight delayed for longer than 3 or 4 hours, as reconfirmed by the court ruling.

Quoting 1400mph (Reply 44):
Yes I do agree with you but it's not the fault of the airline is it. Surely their only obligation is to fulfil their obligations when it is safe to do so ??

The paramount concern of any airline is afterall safety is it not ?

Yup - and it's also the airline's risk to be conducting their business, which obviously relies on being able to take off and land. It's a long-established legislation, airlines are aware of it, act accordingly and have this priced into their tickets - and probably taken out insurance against it as well. Never mind that an ash cloud isn't an everyday occurrence, either. Although I suspect that Ryanair doesn't really mind the effect of EU 261 in relation to such rare events, but rather its effect if a plane goes tech and the flight is consequently delayed by more than 3 or 4 hours/cancelled altogether.
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cmf
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RE: Ryanair Loses Ash Cloud Legal Battle Must Pay Out

Fri Feb 01, 2013 1:17 pm

Quoting Pe@rson (Reply 38):
Yes - because of the decision-making of others. (Which is not to suggest that airlines would have flown if it were up to them.) As such, it seems illogical to me for airlines to be responsible, financial and not, following the decision-making of others. Perhaps the airlines should have paid and sought compensation from the governments.

I agree that at first thought it seems illogical. But when you start looking a bit closer you realize that it all makes sense.

Sure we can blame it on the governments and make them responsible for the costs. But do we want that? Why should people not flying be part of paying the costs?

More importantly, in these extreme circumstances do we really want the final decision be made under the direct influence of cost? Isn't it better to have it one step removed, put safety first?

As it stands airlines know the rules and thus account for it when setting the price. As Ryainair is so clearly doing on their receipts. Pretty sure Ryanair has positive result on this.

Quoting 1400mph (Reply 44):
Yes I do agree with you but it's not the fault of the airline is it. Surely their only obligation is to fulfil their obligations when it is safe to do so ??

Nor is it the fault of the traveler. Nor is it the fault of the government.

The airline's obligations are in the contract and part of that contract is based on the legal requirements set by governments for the privilege to operate in their jurisdiction. The airline is free to not operate there. They are also free to set their price and are/should be smart enough to consider their obligations when doing so.

Quoting 1400mph (Reply 44):
Maybe we should blame Iceland ? It was their volcano !

Or we can blame God, as we do when we call it an act of God. Good luck getting money to cover your costs that way.
Don’t repeat earlier generations mistakes. Learn history for a better future.
 
airbazar
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RE: Ryanair Loses Ash Cloud Legal Battle Must Pay Out

Fri Feb 01, 2013 1:38 pm

Quoting ScottishDavie (Reply 2):
I'm not the greatest FR fan but I tend to agree with moo. There is something inherently illogical about a passenger who has paid a few pounds to fly with FR being entitled to substantial compensation from them if the flight can't operate because of circumstances entirely outwith their control. The insurance point is well made.

That's ridiculous. It's the law and anyone who enters the business knows it so they need to plan for these "circumstances outside of their control". FR and anyone else can claim that the law is unfair and loby to change it but until the law changes which it won't, they have to abide by it and insure against it. That's why insurance exists.

Quoting 1400mph (Reply 44):
Yes I do agree with you but it's not the fault of the airline is it. Surely their only obligation is to fulfil their obligations when it is safe to do so ??

And it's no the fault of the passenger either, but the passenger has already paid the airline. If I get sick and can't fly I doubt very much that FR will give me my money back because after all, getting sick is outside of my control. It's on me to plan for that. If an airline can't fullfil their contract with the passenger, they're in breach regardless of the reason, as far as I'm concerned, so they need to insure themselves against it.
 
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MillwallSean
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RE: Ryanair Loses Ash Cloud Legal Battle Must Pay Out

Fri Feb 01, 2013 2:09 pm

I don't get why people are defending Ryanair here.
They charge 2 Euros per ticket for situations just like this and when a textbook example happen they refuse to pay out?
Dont charge those 2 euros then...
Nah if you charge for it, then do what the law stipulates like all other airlines managed to.
I hope the EU throws the book at them (what is it, up to 50% of annual global turnover they can fine companies) let their damages be higher than anything we have seen before. They are constantly acting like they are above the law and that's not ok. Complete disrespect for legislation deserves contempt and if they once had to pay they would from that second follow every law to the letter, they are after all experts on financial calculations.
(I usually support Ryanair but in this case they are way way out of line - would be like cheating on maintenance and blaming the passengers)

Also the court explicitly said that because this was force majeure no compensation needed to be paid out. The usual hundreds of Euros so all Ryanair needed to do was look after its passengers that showed up at the airport with tickets.

And for those speaking about EU, first Ryanair is Irish so they shouldn't be flying from the UK at all if the UK is out of the EU.
Secondly the UK in or out wont matter a thing when it comes to this, the common European airspace UK is one of the driving forces behind and we will fight tooth and nails to be allowed to remain inside it even if we opt out of the EU...
Will we be allowed (will airlines such as Easyjet have to move HQ and registrations to Europe) that will be entirely up to the EU but in this case the precedent of Switzerland and Norway is that they will be part of it but have to adapt to whatever the EU decides..
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1400mph
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RE: Ryanair Loses Ash Cloud Legal Battle Must Pay Out

Fri Feb 01, 2013 2:46 pm

Quoting airbazar (Reply 50):
And it's no the fault of the passenger either, but the passenger has already paid the airline

Yes and surely as long as they get you home when it is safe to do so they are doing all they can ?

It's an improportianate response to expect your airline to pay for your accomodation and food indefinitely because of matters outside of their control ?

If 'Icelandgate' had involved a particularly nasty eruption of some duration it could have bankrupt many airlines could it not ?

Governments should takecare of their overseas citizens during times of international crisis not private commercial transportation companies. I think anyway.

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