Fog of confusion as Ryanair accused of lying over suspicious cancellation
PASSENGERS have accused Ryanair of lying to avoid paying compensation.
They claim their flight from Granada was cancelled due to high winds when there was no wind and other planes were landing at the same time.
Their incoming flight was diverted to Malaga, where, according to Olive Press sources, it was surrounded by fire engines.
Later, a spokesperson for AENA, the Spanish airport authority, said it was due to fog. Passengers insist this was also not true.
The move left around 140 passengers travelling from Granada to Liverpool stranded with no chance of getting to the UK that day.
Critically, due to the so-called ‘act of God’ rule the airline could claim bad weather was the cause and therefore it didn’t have to offer transport, accommodation or compensation.
But, this however, may not be the case, as the Olive Press has discovered.
“It wasn’t windy at all,” said one traveller Chris Buck, from Liverpool.
“In fact, several other planes landed around that time, so there couldn’t have been a weather problem.”
There were reports from inbound pasengers, that the pilot had diverted because of a technical fault.
Intriguingly, passengers told relatives waiting for them at Granada airport that they had been contained on the plane for almost an hour.
They said that on arrival it had been surrounded by fire engines.
Now passengers have accused the airline of lying in order to avoid having to pay compensation.
While Ryanair offered alternative flights to any British airport the costs of transfers had to be borne by the passenger.
Many people could not get flights until two – even three – days later.
When challenged, a Ryanair spokesman in Granada reiterated that the only information she had concerned high winds.
Malaga Airport Press Office appeared to back this up. Pepe Villalobos said: “The flight was diverted to Malaga because of adverse weather conditions.” She went on: “It is quite normal for fire engines to be present on the runway.”
According to European aviation rules, an airline only has to pay compensation if a flight is delayed or has a technical fault.
If delays or cancellations are caused by the weather the airline has no responsibility to reimburse travellers for any expenses.
Lecturer Mercedes Camino said: “I had to cancel a full day of meetings. I think even low-cost airlines should compensate passengers when flights are cancelled.”
Doris Wright, aged 67 from Liverpool, had to take a taxi back to her accommodation for 50 euros. “I think it’s disgraceful that Ryanair refuses to accept any responsibility and won’t pay for travel and accommodation costs when they cancel a flight,” she said. “And the whole thing is very suspicious. You need to get to the bottom of it.”