- CAA used apparently incorrect information for an official report, and state that “Ryanair is not applying a two-year limit on claims”
- Airline told the CAA they were not seeking to restrict the amount of time a passenger had to bring a claim, whilst at the same time running a court case which argued that exact point.
- Air passengers in England and Wales delayed by three hours or more in the last six years can claim up to €600, as long as their delay was not caused by ‘extraordinary circumstances’
- Flight Delay Compensation Specialists Bott and Co Solicitors say: “We can only assume that the CAA did not perform even the most basic of checks to establish the position”
- Despite not paying out on valid claims, Ryanair have previously charged passengers €2.50 per ticket to cover the cost of compensation pay-outs.
- Ryanair likely to have received over €400 million for this levy in 2011, 2012, 2013 – enough to compensate over 1 million passengers. Despite this thousands of passengers are being denied valid claims.
The Civil Aviation Authority produced an official flight delay compensation report using apparently incorrect information provided to them by a major airline.
Ryanair told the CAA they do not use a clause in their Terms and Conditions to limit the amount of time a passenger can take a claim to court, whilst at the same time preparing to argue that passengers only have two years to claim in an upcoming court case.
In an official statement, the CAA said:
“Although Ryanair is not applying a two-year limit on claims, the CAA has issued an information notice under Part 8 of the Enterprise Act 2002 to review the airline’s approach to assessing passenger claims for flights disrupted by technical faults.”
But flight delay compensation specialists Bott and Co Solicitors say that Ryanair HAVE been applying a two-year limit on claims, and were doing so at the time that the CAA published the report.
As part of their six-month review, the CAA wrote to all major airlines requesting they answer questions surrounding their flight delay compensation policies for their report ‘Financial compensation, technical faults and time limitations: Compliance report’. (See notes to editor)
Following the airlines’ submissions, the CAA identified that both Jet2 and Wizz Air have been wrongly imposing two-year time limits for passengers to take compensation claims to court, despite the Court of Appeal (Dawson v Thomson) ruling that passengers should have up to six years to make a claim. However, the regulator incorrectly stated that Ryanair were not one of the airlines imposing the two year limitation period.
Excerpt from “Responses received to CAA request for contributions”
4. The Dawson v Thomson Airways judgment confirmed that the limitation period in the UK for taking a case to court in respect of the Denied Boarding Regulations is 6 years. Please confirm that you apply this limitation period.
Ryanair’s response: “We confirm that we now apply the 6 year limitation period in the UK”
5. If, for any reason, you apply a different limitation period, please explain what it is, how you apply it in practice (for example through your Terms and Conditions), and why you consider it is not in conflict with the Dawson v Thomson Airways judgement.
Ryanair’s response: “N/A” (Not applicable.)
The CAA used the above information as part of their report, confirming that Ryanair have not been applying a two year limitation period on passenger claims. In March 2015 the CAA released a statement saying that their report was the result of a “comprehensive six-month review of airline policies”. [See notes to editor]
But Bott and Co Solicitors currently have 649 Ryanair passengers who have been told by Ryanair that they only have two years to take a claim to court because of a clause in the airline’s Terms and Conditions.
These hundreds of passengers have had their claims stayed (put on hold) to await the outcome of the test case Goel & Trivedi v Ryanair, which will take place at Manchester County Court on 6th August 2015.
Because this is a test case, if Ryanair win, they are likely to be able to apply a two year limitation period on all existing and future claims – a decision that stands to affect around 2.26million passengers (totalling approx. £610million compensation). [See notes to editor]
The airline was preparing this legal argument at the same time they told the CAA that they had no intention to do so.
Flight Delay Lawyer Coby Benson at Bott and Co, who is acting on behalf of Goel and Trivedi said:
“Ryanair told the Civil Aviation Authority that they were no longer arguing this point, whilst at the same time preparing to argue this point in court.
“We can only assume that the CAA did not perform even the most basic of checks to establish the position; they simply took them at their word and produced a report confidently predicting that airlines were complying with their obligations.
“Bott and Co could have told them a far more accurate reflection of airlines’ responses in the aftermath of the judgment, and indeed we offered to do so. Sadly that offer was never taken up.”
“We would like the CAA to exercise their powers and hold airlines to proof in relation to the Regulations. We’ve long since given up waiting for that to happen and that’s why we took the test cases of Huzar and Dawson to the Supreme Court last year – if the CAA won’t take these steps on behalf of passengers we will.”
Ryanair introduced a €2 surcharge per ticket to cover the cost of compensating passengers under EU261 in March 2011. This levy was increased to €2.50 in March 2013.
Bott and Co Solicitors
Bott and Co is a law firm regulated by the SRA and NOT a claims management company. In this respect we can issue court proceedings for passengers, where claims management companies cannot. To date Bott and Co has recovered £10.7million in flight delay compensation for 25,047 passengers
For quotes, comment or more information, please contact:
T: 01625 415 800
Notes to editor
See here for a full copy of ‘Financial compensation, technical faults and time limitations: Compliance report’
Read the CAA’s official statement on the report.
For the relevant clause in Ryanair’s Terms and Conditions see Article 15 (15.2):
Dawson v Thomson Airways
Bott and Co represented Mr Dawson all the way to the Supreme Court in the case of Dawson v Thomson Airways in June 2014. The Courts ruled that passengers in England and Wales have six years to issue court proceedings when claiming flight delay compensation.
Figures on how many people will be affected by the Goel & Trivedi v Ryanair ruling based on:
This is information pulled from Ryanair’s annual reports :-
2009 – 58.6 million passengers.
2010 – 66.5 million passengers.
2011 – 72.1 million passengers.
2012 – 75.8 million passengers.
2013 – 79.3 million passengers.
If we halve 2009 and 2013 numbers (because the first half of 2009 flights are barred as they are older than 6 years, and the second half of 2013 are still within 2 years) that gives us a total of 283.35 million passengers carried in that 2-6 year period.
Our data shows us that around 2% of flights are delayed by 3 hours and around 0.8% are claimable.
0.8% of 283.35 million = 2.26 million passengers potentially affected by this.
2.26 X £270 = £610 million.
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