Assessment of legal validity
You may be entitled to receive up to £498.00 per person.
Established in 1984, Ryanair is the second-largest airline in Europe (constantly battling it out against Lufthansa Group). The airline operates just over 2,400 flights on a daily basis. In 2017, Ryanair became the first airline to have carried 1 billion customers. The budget airline has, since its beginning, operated under a low-cost principle and is also commonly known to have specific cabin baggage rules, which are a regular cause for frustration amongst its passengers.
However, things often don’t go as planned and flights are regularly delayed or cancelled by the company. Furthermore, some passengers are denied boarding due to overbookings frequently. In all of these scenarios, you may be entitled to claim compensation. We’ll take you through all the information you need to know in order to make it easier for you, as a passenger, to enforce your rights.
In case you’re checking your rights whilst delayed at the airport, you are entitled to the following assistance and care:
Don’t forget that you may very well be entitled to compensation if you end up arriving at your final destination with a delay greater than 3 hours!
Not all passengers may be aware of the fact that you are able to claim compensation for flight delays and cancellations. When flying with Ryanair, your passenger rights will be protected by Regulation (EC) No 261/2004 and the Sturgeon Ruling. This is due to the fact that Ryanair is an EU carrier and is registered in Europe. This is the legislation that grants you the right to claim compensation if you’ve arrived at your final destination with a delay of more than 3 hours in case of a delay or 2 hours in cases of flight cancellations.
This Regulation was approved by the European Parliament and is designed to protect passenger rights in case of problems with flights that affect passengers severely. Habitually, passengers will have the right to receive care, assistance and compensation. Everything is stipulated in the legislation; however, a considerable amount of court rulings by the European Court of Justice has clarified and further expanded the interpretation of the law. This can make everything a little bit more complex for passengers. In the interest of simplicity, we’ll just say that Ryanair has to follow these guidelines or risk hefty fines by regulators. This applies to all European airlines, but also to non-European airlines that fly from Europe. Compensation may be due in cases of disruptions such as:
The Sturgeon Ruling of 19 November 2009 was a joined case of passengers against the airlines Condor and Air France. It was ruled that despite there not being express provision in Regulation (EC) no 261/2004 to compensate passengers for delays, passengers would now be entitled to the compensation, as set out in Article 8, for any delay in excess of three hours, providing the air carrier cannot raise a defence of 'extraordinary circumstances'.
It was also ruled that under the definition of 'extraordinary circumstances', technical faults within an aircraft should not be included and therefore an air carrier cannot rely on a technical fault within an aircraft as a defence from a valid claim under the Regulation. Various passenger rights groups reported the case and encouraged passengers to bring claims against airlines in the event of a delay of over three hours. This ruling opened the gate for passengers, whose flight had been delayed for more than three hours, to claim compensation. Previously, airlines had been following the law verbatim, so they would only acknowledge that compensation was owed to passengers whose flights had been “officially cancelled”.
The Irish airline is quite often on time, contrary to popular belief. Nonetheless, if your flight has been delayed, as per the abovementioned ruling, you’ll be able to claim compensation if:
In 2018, Ryanair operated with an on-time performance of 84%, making it one of the world’s most on-time airlines during the year. The total amount that you may receive in compensation varies according to the distance you flight covered and sometimes, also by the total time you’ve been delayed when reaching your final destination. If you want to know immediately if your route is covered and how much money you may be entitled to, quickly check your flight with our claim calculator:
If your flight was cancelled then you have the right to claim compensation under EC 261/2004. However, similarly to flight delays, there are certain conditions that must be met for one to be entitled to receive compensation. It is a bit trickier when it comes to cancellations, as the moment when you were informed of the cancellation also comes into play. Here, we’ll try to keep it simple and understandable, but you can always use our claim calculator and check your flight. Regarding flight cancellations, when you were informed of the disruptions is very important:
All of the above-mentioned cases will only grant you the right to be compensated if your cancellation was not due to an extraordinary circumstance. We’ll say more about these circumstances later, it’s worth noting right now that they also apply to flight delays.
One more thing to take into account, if your flight is cancelled the airline has the obligation to fly you, eventually, to your final destination or te refund your ticket if you do not wish to travel anymore.
Compensation and a refund are two different things. Most passengers get them mixed up, but the regulation considers the possibility of passenger receiving both. If It concerns a flight cancellation, you’ll always be entitled to a replacement flight to your final destination. If the airline fails to provide such a flight or if you end up arranging your own travel to your intended destination, you’ll be entitled to a full refund of your ticket. Please note that If you are offered a replacement flight and you decide not to take it, there is a possibility that not only you won’t be entitled to compensation but the airline may not be obliged to refund your original ticket. This is dependant on the arrival and departure times of the replacement flight.
For a flight delay, you'll be entitled to the refund of your fare if the time of delay surpasses 5 hours and you’ve chosen not to fly anymore. It’s worth noting that it’s very improbable that passengers will be awarded compensation if they were not on board the delayed flight.
Yes, if your Ryanair flight has been cancelled and the airline has not provided you with the necessary replacement flight you are eligible for both compensation and the refund of your flight’s fare. If you wish to submit your claim with Flight-Delayed, your request for the refund will be attached to your dossier and claim.
When passengers find out that they have the right to claim compensation, the next question usually is how much can I claim? The answer will always be: it depends on the distance covered by your booking or flight. We say booking because missed connections are taken into account if your booking consisted of more than one flight. The total time you’ve been delayed may also come into play sometimes. Nonetheless, for most cases, these are the sums established in the regulation:
Please note that if your flight travelled a distance greater than 3,500 kilometres and it was delayed more than 3 hours but fewer than 4, then the total amount of compensation is reduced by 50%. The regulation defines the total amounts in euros and they are €250, €400 and €600.
Incidents in which passengers have been denied boarding are also covered by the regulation. The text states that if you’ve been denied boarding through no fault of your own, you must be compensated under the same principles that apply to flight delays and cancellation.
There are certain things that are considered to be the responsibility of the passenger, for example:
If you have fulfilled all your responsibilities as a passenger, the airline probably will only have one good reason to deny your boarding: the flight is overbooked. Selling more tickets than the number of seats available is a very common practice in the industry. They do it to maximise their benefits and they are simply counting on the fact that some passengers won’t show up to take the flight. In some cases, however, everyone arrives at the gate and someone needs to be left behind.
If this has happened to you, have the certainty that you are entitled to compensation. Before you accept any travel vouchers, you must know how much money you should receive in compensation as, more often than not, airlines offer a lower amount than what’s stipulated in the law. Furthermore, you are, in fact, entitled to a cash payment. However, please do remember that if you give up your seat voluntarily, you will waive your right to be compensated.
When a passenger agrees to forfeit a seat on an overbooked flight and, in return, receives any type of reward form the airline, like travel credits, vouchers, hotel rooms, cash payment, etc., the passenger is effectively renouncing the right to claim compensation.
In any of the above-mentioned scenarios, flight cancellations, delays or if you are denied boarding, the airline must either fly you to your final destination as contracted or fly you back to your airport of origin. They are not allowed to leave you stranded. If the airline is going into administration, then the Civil Aviation Authority will step in.
If Ryanair has changed your flight schedule then you may also be entitled to compensation. Schedule changes are treated as flight cancellations. This means that when you were notified by Ryanair about the schedule change is very important as well as your new time of departure and arrival. It is exactly the same as the rules for cancellations. So, you are eligible for compensation when:
Also, remember that connecting flights are covered. The total time of your delay is calculated taking into account your final destination if your booking consists of more than a single flight.
Even though most Ryanair bookings do not include a connecting flight, the European Court of Justice recently stated that carriers are responsible for your whole booking. It’s well worth knowing that your rights are protected in such cases even if bookings with connecting flights are such a small percentage of the overall Ryanair flights. So how does it work?
Firstly, it is important to know that the distance between your point of departure and your final destination will determine the total amount that you’ll receive in compensation. For example, if you’ve booked a flight from Manchester to Mexico City with a stopover in Madrid, the distance between Manchester and Mexico City will determine how much you might receive. In this case, it would be 600 euros as the distance is greater than 3500 kilometres.
Secondly, the total time of your delay will determine if you can actually claim for your booking. The rule of thumb is that you must have arrived at your final destination with a delay of more than 3 hours. Using the example mentioned above, If you’ve left Manchester with a delay of 45 minutes therefore missing your connecting flight from Madrid to Mexico City, and this resulted in you having to take a later flight and arrive in Mexico City 6 hours later than scheduled, you’d have the right to claim compensation. If your booking is a tad more complicated than that, we’ll gladly have a look at it and assess it.
Put shortly, extraordinary circumstances are the events that might affect a flight, causing it to be delayed or cancelled, that won’t be considered to be under the sphere of responsibility of the airline. Think of them as valid excuses to delay or cancel a flight. For example, if there’s an air traffic control strike in France and your flight had to pass over the country, there’s nothing the airline can do to influence such an event and will probably have to delay/cancel the flight in order to figure out if they can decide on a new flight route or simply not operate the flight.
The following situations are considered extraordinary by the European regulation and will excuse the airline from paying compensation:
Please note that the onus of proving the occurrence of such an event is on the airline. Regarding extraordinary circumstances, they will need to provide evidence that not only did the event occur, but also proof that they’ve taken all appropriate action at their disposal to minimise the impact of such an occurrence.
Airlines very often quickly fob off passengers arguing that such an event has occurred and that it was out of their hands. More often than not, this has not been the case or they are unable to prove it. It’s common wisdom that Ryanair will make it as difficult as possible for passengers to claim compensation, meaning that a considerable amount of claims will need some level of legal action in order to be acknowledged and paid out. If your claim has already been rejected, there are additional measures you can take if you want to exercise your rights and hold Ryanair accountable.
We are specialised in the field of claiming compensation and know exactly how to proceed against Ryanair. We’ve assisted thousands of passengers before and will inform Ryanair that we are willing to sue them from the very beginning. If they refuse to acknowledge your rights, they can expect a court summons. We have all the data, expertise and knowledge to assess your claim and exhaustively fact-check every single argument they may provide when rejecting your claim. You can sit back and relax and we’ll do all the work. Best of all, absolutely everything is covered by our 25% win-fee, which you only pay once we’ve successfully claimed your compensation, even if we have to go to court for it.
The option of escalating your claim to the Civil Aviation Authority on your own or using Martin Lewis’ recommended Resolver tool is an additional option. However, the CAA’s ruling on the case is not binding and the airline may still refuse to pay your compensation. In that case, court action will be necessary. Even if the airline acknowledges your right to be compensated, we have seen cases in which further court action was necessary for the passengers to finally receive their compensation.
These are two viable options with which you can try to proceed legally without the help of solicitors. However, in both cases, you will need to pay certain fees upfront depending on the amount you’re claiming and the court itself. These fees may go up to £410 to submit the claim with the court, a £40 court allocation fee once if the claim gets assigned to a court and up to £325 for the hearing fee. Some fees may be awarded back if the case is won, but please note that if you lose the court case, you will have to pay for the other side’s expenses and the above-mentioned fees won't’ be refunded.
In the UK, you have up to 6 years to initiate any court action via the Small Claims Courts (5 in Scottland). For European Small Claims Court cases, your flight will have to concern two different European countries and, even though the total cost of the process may vary, most fees are more or less the same.
Whichever option you choose, in order to make it easier for you you will need certain documents and information to proceed without complication against the airline and to force them to provide you with an answer regarding your claim. These are the documents you will need in order to proceed:
All of these documents will be needed in order to prove your identity and that you, in fact, held a booking to travel on the disrupted flight. These documents are also necessary to proceed with court action, so having a complete dossier with all the relevant documents and information is critical to smooth out the process of claiming your compensation.
If your flight has been delayed, cancelled or overbooked you should always register or write down the following information:
Something else that may be very useful when claiming compensation is to know the reason for the delay. Therefore, you should always ask Ryanair’s staff for the reason of your disruption. Especially if you’ve been denied boarding.
Furthermore, please keep a copy of all relevant communication with the airline. This includes all the notifications you may have received regarding your delay or cancellation or any schedule change.
You will be entitled to compensation if Ryanair is unable to prove that the root cause of your flight’s delay or cancellation was an extraordinary circumstance. This may take longer than expected as often airlines will argue against paying compensation. Furthermore, the information they provide will have to be examined and cross-checked and, as it often is the case, claims are only paid out once the airline has been summoned to court or has been notified of impending legal action. With years of experience and the right tools and technology, we will make sure that you receive the compensation that you are entitled to and that the airline does not get away with ignoring your rights.
Yes. Normally, you are able to claim all reasonable extra costs that you incurred because of your Ryanair flight delay, cancellation or overbooking. However, it is important to remember to keep all the itemised receipts of any expenses as they will support your argument when claiming the extra costs. These receipts may cover:
Even when assisted by professionals, passengers may have to wait more than expected for their compensation. In some cases, Ryanair will agree to settle the claim as soon as it notices that court action will be initiated against them otherwise. As most claims are not paid out immediately, finding a path, creating a plan and seeing the whole process through may take months. If Ryanair is determined to defend its case in court, completing the proceedings may take up to a year.
First, check your flight with our free claim calculator and find out if your flight is covered and how much compensation you can claim!
If you choose to submit your claim with Flight-Delayed, we’ll ensure that you go through the process as swiftly and smoothly as possible, all while ensuring that you won’t be fobbed off by Ryanair. If court action is needed, we’ll determine which is the easiest path for you to be awarded compensation and one of our solicitors, we cover more than 8 different European countries, will proceed to sue the airline. We provide our service under a no win, no fee agreement, that means that we’ll take on all the risk and you’ll only have to pay our 25% win-fee if our actions lead to a successful outcome. In other words, once you’ve gotten paid by Ryanair.
Best of all is that our win-fee covers all possible costs associated with claiming your compensation. Including legal and court fees as well as all administrative costs and VAT. Don't wait any longer, exrcise your rights!
Assessment of legal validity
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