Italy: Ryanair Threatened With Legal Action After Misleading Thousands Of Clients

Andrew Haines, CAA's (Civil Aviation Authority) chief executive, has expressed serious concerns in relation to the way Ryanair appears to have managed its current staff crisis and consequent disruption to clients' travel plans.

It is currently being alleged that the Ireland-based low cost airline company may have intentionally misinformed and misled clients whose flights have been cancelled about their rights to compensation. The CAA has therefore issued an "enforcement action" against Ryanair for wrongly informing clients that it did not have to re-route passengers on rival airlines.

After the CAA announcement, Ryanair had little choice but to offer their full cooperation, commenting that the airline already fully complies with all EU261 legislations, which doesn't chime with the copious information coming from the disaffected Ryanair passengers.  The company also stated it will meet the CAA and comply with whatever request the authority may issue. Mr Haines declared that it was unacceptable that Ryanair would so openly disregard the law and customers' rights.

The issue arose as Mr O'Leary (Ryanair's CEO) told Radio 5live that the company had no intention whatsoever of paying for passenger to fly on other airlines. This, as highlighted by Mr Haines, is actually against the law.  It has also been alleged that Ryanair may have repeatedly failed to commit to any of the promises made to affected customers.

The BBC reported that the total number of customers affected has risen to an astonishing 700,000, as 34 Ryanair routes have been suspended until March 2018. These will include destinations such as London, Bucharest, Palermo, Chania, Cologne, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Hamburg, Newcastle, Sofia, Thessaloniki, Trapani among many others.

Following sudden flight cancellations, Ryanair has repeatedly and it seems, intentionally failed to provide customers with necessary and accurate information about their rights, including failing to inform customers that it, Ryanair, was obliged to refund all expenses incurred as a consequence of flight cancellation.  This would include meals, hotels and transfer cost to re-route passengers to other airports.  Many Ryanair passengers have taken to social media to post the blatant misinformation that some Ryanair customer service staff have been providing to them.  As Ryanair has been in business since 1984 and therefore are highly unlikely to be unaware of its obligations, it is hard to understand why the company is delivering such flawed information on an industrial scale.

Upon abrupt cancellation of any given flight, Ryanair has a 24-hours window to book customers on another Ryanair flight. If the logistic of the Ryanair alternative does not suit the customer, the company has to book the customer onto the most suitable flight. It is being suggested that Ryanair should also directly book alternative flights rather than just refund the customer.

However, since customers involved in the new wave of flight cancellations have been given more than two weeks' notice of their flight cancellation, they will not be entitled to refunds or compensation.

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