Britain's aviation regulator said on Friday that Ryanair (RYA.I) had "capitulated" to pressure to inform passengers hit by flight cancellations of their rights, and would keep pushing the airline to fully compensate them.
CAA chief executive Andrew Haines said: "Our job is to protect passengers' rights and ensure that all airlines operating in the United Kingdom are fully compliant with important consumer laws". "While over 99 percent of our 129 million customers will not have been affected by any cancellations or disruptions, we deeply regret any doubt we caused existing customers. about Ryanair's reliability, or the risk of further cancellations", said chief executive Michael O'Leary.
The low-budget airline had been given a deadline of 5pm this evening by the UK's Civil Aviation Authority to correct its compensation policy for passengers.
Ryanair's announcement that it is cancelling 18,000 flights between November and March has understandably evoked the ire of the 400,000 customers affected.
In a statement released today, Ryanair said representatives met with vehicle to ensure that customers are fully aware of their rights and entitlements, including full refunds, or re-accommodation onto other Ryanair flights or other comparable transport options with reimbursement of reasonable out of pocket expenses.
Despite being caught up in the midst of a major flight cancellation debacle, Ryanair seems adamant on maintaining its place as one of the most competitive airlines when it comes to price.More news: Bali evacuees surge as volcano threat grows
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The regulatory body says it contacted the airline earlier this month for reassurance that customers would be provided with accurate information regarding their rights and entitlements.
If the disrupted flight is their outbound sector, customers will also be offered a full refund of the return sector.
If is not available on the same or next day, they'll be moved to the next available Ryanair flight at a suitable alternative airport. It appears that Ryanair has now capitulated.
The new cancellations include several popular routes used by United Kingdom passengers, such as Stansted to Edinburgh and Glasgow, Gatwick to Belfast, Newcastle to Faro, and Glasgow to Las Palmas.
This press release is displayed on the home page of Ryanair's website from today.
Victoria Moores, European Bureau Chief of Air Transport World, said the reputation damage of the cancellation saga will ripple well beyond Ryanair: "It's going to affect other carriers negatively".