- Dublin-based airline Ryanair issued an apology after mistakenly sending unsigned compensation checks to nearly 200 passengers.
- These passengers were owed money by the airline for previous flight cancellations and delays.
- Ryanair said in a statement to Business Insider, “We apologise sincerely for this inconvenience which arose out of our desire to issue these compensation cheques quickly to our customers.”
- European Union flight regulations require compensation paid to passengers if their flights are severely delayed or canceled.
Ryanair issued an apology after the European airline mistakenly sent unsigned compensation checks to nearly 200 passengers who were owed money for previous flight cancellations and delays.
In a statement to Business Insider, Ryanair Head of Communications Robin Kiely said, “Due to an admin error, a tiny number of cheques (less than 190 out of over 20,000 compensation cheques in July) were posted without a required signatory. These cheques were re-issued last week and we apologise sincerely for this inconvenience which arose out of our desire to issue these compensation cheques quickly to our customers.”
Ryanair, who is Europe’s largest low-cost carrier, has been besieged by cancellations and delays this year. According to the BBC, more than one million Ryanair passengers in Europe have had their flights delayed or canceled since April, citing the airline’s own figures.
The BBC also reports a pilots’ walkout on August 10 led to nearly 400 flights being canceled. The Dublin-based carrier had previously been in a union dispute with striking pilots over conditions, base transfers, and annual leave. An agreement between the airline and its pilots was struck on Thursday after a 22-hour bargaining session.
This dysfunction has added up in costs for the airline, as Ryanair is required by law to financially compensate each passenger per delay or cancelation.
Under European Union regulation 261/2004, airlines are required to compensate passengers for up to €600 if their flights are significantly delayed. Passengers are eligible for a full refund if the flight is canceled.
The Telegraph reports that a strike by Ryanair pilots in July saw over 30 flights canceled, affecting the travel of up to 5,000 passengers. This set of a controversy between Ryanair and its passengers when the airline refused to pay compensation checks, citing the European Union legislation absolves the airline from paying compensation in the event of a strike.
The Telegraph reports the airline told the BBC: “Ryanair complies fully with EU261 legislation, under which no compensation is payable to customers when the (strike) delay/cancellation is beyond the airline’s control.
As for the issue of the unsigned checks this month, Ryanair told the British consumer association Which? that the checks were reissued on August 15.
Some took to social media to point out Ryanair’s inability to hold up their end of the bargain, mixing gallows humour with basic frustration.
A bounced cheque? Luxury! @Ryanair cancelled my flights last year and gave me a month to book new ones, which didn’t fit my commitments, meaning… free money for Ryanair. Brilliant.
— Matt Rendell (@mrendell) August 22, 2018
— Gordon Fong (@GordonFong) August 6, 2018
#Ryanair Okay so Ryanair didn't sign the compensation cheques, probably on purpose, who knows? What I can't believe is that anyone is thick enough to think an unsigned cheque can be paid into a bank account. Can anyone really be that dim? I despair.
— Susan Fuller (@SusanFu14150836) August 22, 2018
#Ryanair ‘Whst? You wanted a signature on your compensation cheque? There’ll be an extra charge for that.’
— Andrea Catherwood (@acatherwoodnews) August 22, 2018
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