UK holidaymakers affected by the current wave of Ryanair flight cancellations are being advised that there are EU Regulations that protect consumers when their flights are cancelled. The UK European Consumer Centre (UK ECC) has also pledged to offer free help and advice to consumers if they need it.
What does this mean for you?
- If your flight has been cancelled then the airline is obliged to offer you a full refund or re-routing to your final destination. If you chose to get a refund then you should be paid within seven days of the request. If you chose to be re-routed then this should be at the airline's earliest opportunity.
- You may also be entitled to receive compensation, depending on when you are informed of the cancellation and its reason. If you are informed of the cancellation more than 14 days before the scheduled departure, then the airline does not have to provide compensation. If the airline cancels the flight within 14 days of the scheduled departure it has to pay compensation, but in certain circumstances this may be reduced.
What should you do next?
- If your flight has been cancelled then you should contact Ryanair to arrange a refund or re-routing. You should ask for the appropriate amount of compensation to be paid as well.
- If you are stuck on holiday then you should keep any receipts for reasonable expenses for overnight accommodation, meals and refreshments whilst you wait for your re-routed flight. It may be possible to claim these costs back on top of any compensation due under the Regulations.
Andy Allen, director of the UK European Consumer Centre (UK ECC), said: "This is a time of distress and anger for many passengers whose flights have been cancelled. The company has been hit by more than one strike. Ryanair says on its website that if a consumer's flight has been cancelled the consumer will be notified as soon as possible by email and text message to the email address and phone number provided at the time of booking.
"We note that it is the UK Civil Aviation Authority's view that when a Ryanair flight cancellation is caused by strike action by the airline's employees, Ryanair has to pay compensation to passengers if they are not warned of a flight cancellation at least two weeks before the scheduled departure time.
"It is important that consumers know that EC Regulation 261/2004 is there to protect them. We would add that if you do not get the response that you are hoping for from the airline then please contact the UK European Consumer Centre for free advice on 01268 886690 or email ECCNET-UK@ec.europa.eu
Notes to Editors:
For further information please contact UK European Consumer Centre’s press office on 01268 582206.
The UK European Consumer Centre is part of the European Consumer Centre Network (ECC-Net). There are 30 centres in the EU, plus Iceland and Norway. The aim of the network is to provide advice and support to consumers who have a dispute with a trader based in a European country outside the UK. The Network will assist consumers in the attempt to resolve the complaint.
UK ECC can provide advice in the following main areas: buying goods and services, online shopping, internet auctions, holidays, timeshare and holiday clubs, air travel.
UK ECC is co-funded by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), and the European Commission.
The UK ECC service is delivered by the Trading Standards Institute https://www.tradingstandards.uk/consumers
- The UK ECC provides advice and support to consumers who have a dispute with a trader based in a European country outside the UK and will assist consumers in the attempt to resolve the complaint.
- Consumers can make contact with the UK European Consumer Centre via the website – www.ukecc.net – or by phone on 01268 886690 weekdays between 9am and 5pm.
- If in doubt before you buy, contact our sister organisation – the European Consumer Centre for Services – for pre-purchasing advice: www.ukecc-services.net