Ryanair could face court action for failing to properly inform passengers about their rights after it cancelled thousands of flights.
The UK’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said on Wednesday evening (Sept. 28) it had launched “enforcement action” against the low-cost carrier for “persistently misleading” customers about their rights and wrongly claiming it did not have to re-route stranded passengers on rival airlines.
Consumer protection rules oblige Ryanair to also offer customers flights on other airlines if there is no suitable Ryanair service available.
The CAA has started enforcement action against Ryanair for persistently misleading passengers: Read more here: https://t.co/JF7p4LWgnp— UK CAA (@UK_CAA) September 28, 2017
In a letter to Ryanair, the regulator also said the company had not informed customers about their right to be reimbursed for the extra expenses incurred as a result of the disruption – such as meals, hotel and transfer costs.
The CAA has the power to seek legal undertakings from operators to make sure they comply with consumer rights law and to take court action if they fail to do so.
Ryanair says it will co-operate. “We will be meeting with the CAA and will comply fully with whatever requirements they ask us to,” it said in a statement.
700,000 customers affected
CAA CEO Andrew Haines told Sky News on Thursday that the CAA was “furious” with Ryanair and that the regulator wanted to see “action, not words”.
“We’ve made it clear their behavior is unacceptable… It’s only when we get to steps of court action very often that they are prepared to comply with the law,” Haines said.
The threat of legal action comes after Ryanair cancelled a further 18,000 flights between November and March.
The airline has more than doubled its cancellations since last week, with cuts now affecting more than 700,000 customers over the next six months.
The company has denied it has a pilots shortage and has blamed the wave of cancellations on pilot rostering problems.
Ryanair boss Michael O‘Leary told investors last week that the impact would be less than 25 million euros and that Ryanair was finalising a bid for struggling Italian carrier Alitalia.
On Wednesday, that cost figure doubled and Ryanair abruptly dropped its planned Alitalia bid.
This is brilliant!! 😂🤣#Ryanair #ryanaircancellations pic.twitter.com/uXCvNvI0tY— Lynn Boylan MEP (@LNBDublin) September 27, 2017