Passengers acuse Ryanair of lying

LAST UPDATED: 30 Mar, 2009 @ 20:16
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Passengers acuse Ryanair of lying

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.”

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12 COMMENTS

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  1. I don’t know what you all are complaining about. You fly cheap you get cheap. I work for Lufthansa and you would never have had that problem had you taken a GOOD airline that is dependable. Ryanair is crap and I don’t get it that people still don’t see it.

  2. Oh here we go again… Ryanair-bashing. I have to agree with Troy, Lufthansa is pretty good and I have always had good service from them, but to be honest flying a full-fat airline does not guarantee anything better than low-cost.

    I the last two years have had appalling and often arbitrary treatment from Iberia, Spanair, Air France, British Airways and SAA. On the other hand, my flights with Clickair, Vueling, Easyjet and Ryanair have all gone smoothly.

  3. But you have to admit with other larger and better airlines you get more if things go wrong as in not making a flight or cancellation. For one, these larger airlines will give you a hotel room or book you onto the next flight or will get try to get you a seat on another airline. I’ve seen this done first hand and also have experienced it myself. Cheap airlines will end up leaving you standing there trying to figure out on your own how to get to where you want to go. Or they will charge you more to put you onto the next flight and you won’t find them trying to get you onto another airline.

  4. Not sure about that Troy. Full-fat airlines can be just as unhelpful if they feel like it, and don’t exactly make it easy to claim when they have messed up. I’ve been abandoned overnight at CDG by Air France (despite my right to a hotel room) after a connection was missed (by them), with no access to my luggage because it has been “checked through” to the final destination. All I got was small bag with a tooth brush and Air France T-shirt. Whoopee! Iberia managed to comprehensively destroy a painting of mine, even though it was wrapped according to their specifications and had been checked in as fragile (they promised several times to look after it). British Airways lost a piece of luggage going into the new T5, which I have never seen again nor been able to claim against despite my best efforts. SAA bumped me off an overbooked flight from JNB (despite my full economy fare) and just told me to come back the next day, no explanation, apology or compensation. And that is all in the last two years. My only bad experience on low-cost airlines. A slight delay at Stansted on Ryanair due to fog (which I could actually see).

  5. I’m sorry that you had all that happen. The suitcase loss or damage is not just the airlines fault. It is the handlers that work for the airport. They mostly do not directly work for the airline. And not getting a compensation I can not understand, because under EU law they are required to give you that. Plus if you are not flown out and have to stay the night in the hotel they have to pay for that. Those are the facts. You should check up on that.

  6. The comments by Troy and Justin are interesting. The bottom line is that if everything goes smoothly it doesn´t matter which airline you fly with. Although I hate Ryanair with a passion for the quality of its product, its aggressive money-grabbing, the rude cabin staff, the company´s attitude towards its customers and, above all, the arrogance of Michael O´Leary, I shall continue to fly with them if they are the cheapest, as the price of the flight is the most important factor for me. I´ve flown with them dozens of times – it´s not that pleasant, but it gets me from A to B usually early or on time. I´ve only once had a major problem and that was the cancellation of the recent flight from Granada to Liverpool which sparked the Olive Press article. Everything about that night was unacceptable and I´m frankly surprised there wasn´t a riot at Granada. Ryanair, however, will continue to plough its own furrow, flout international law and treat its customers with disrespect – but they´ll still get our business if they remain the cheapest. Paying for a pee is possibly the last straw, though!

  7. Thanks Troy, I am well aware of my rights. The point I was trying to make, is that airlines – and it makes no difference if they are low-cost or otherwise – will treat you exactly how it suits them. Having the rights is one thing, but exercising those rights can often be a very different matter.

    Your comment about baggage handlers is just a red herring, the airline is ultimately responsible.

    Paul has hit it on the nail, it’s all about the cost. Why do you think Ryanair is so successful despite their apparently poor service?

  8. What I don´t get is how an airline can flout international aviation regulations (Warsaw convention, I think?) just because their tickets are cheap. The price paid is irrelevant. If compensation is due, it should be paid. Maybe one day someone will take Ryanair and the like on in the courts, though I have to ask why the authorities don´t enforce the regs on behalf of passengers?

  9. I absolutely agree with pablo. We as passengers and consumers are far too complacent when it comes to complaining and taking action,and indeed,where are the authorities when passengers suffer such outrages? Although i am still fuming at monarch’s withdrawal from granada, i will still use its malaga service because i have been well treated by them and paying at least thrice the price for a BA ticket is just not worth it. There should be cast iron legislation for all airlines, regardless of quality, which should be upheld and punishable by law. We are not all wealthy,needless to say, and being stuck in a foreign country with children or elderly people is a serious situation to be dealt with by the airline.

  10. Dear Camilla, may I be the first person to offer you a good word about Ryanair. Not withstanding the particular events of this story, of which I have already commented on above, I have found Ryanair to provide no better or no worse a service as that provided by other budget airlines, for example EasyJet or Jet2.com. I have had as much cause to praise or to complain about its service as I have for any other of the several budget airlines I have flown with in the past.

    Furthermore, while you are correct in saying that they are not the only cheap airline, I would qualify that by saying that there are degrees of cheapness, even within the budget airlines. And, in general, I have more often than not found Ryanair to offer the cheapest fares.

    The one thing I would say about Ryanair is that, while they operate a similar check-in and boarding process to other low-cost airlines, such as EasyJet, for some reason boarding a plane with Ryanair always seems to result in an unseemly scrimmage amongst the passengers to get as close to the front of the queue as possible. In my experience the EasyJet boarding process, for example, seems to conduct itself more smoothly. I offer no explanation as to why this is the case.

    You may of course continue to choose not to fly with Rayanair; and that’s fine. I therefore end this response merely by offering the suggestion that, if nothing else, then by the laws by competition they at least serve the purpose of keeping the prices of their competitors low.

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