Ryanair signs up to new ombudsman service

Ryanair is set for a new departure with the announcement that their passengers will soon be able to get legally binding decisions on complaints over flight delays or cancellation claims.

Ryanair have signed up to an Ombudsman Service which will make them compensate passengers if their complaints are upheld

Ryanair has signed up to an Ombudsman Service which will make them compensate passengers if their complaints are upheld Image by Fabio Bruna / CC BY 2.0

This new vista with the budget airline has become possible after the Irish company became the first carrier to sign up to the Ombudsman Services’ airline complaints arbitration scheme.

Website Money Saving Experts (mse.com) says that under EU rules, if a passenger has a flight cancelled or is delayed by at least three hours, under certain cases they can claim up to £420 (€600) unless it is beyond the carrier's control.

At present, complaining passengers have to take their gripe to an aviation regulator unless the airline agrees to pay compensation.

However, authorities such as Britain’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) don’t have the muscle to enforce their findings which are mostly disputed by the carriers in question. However the Ombudsman Service will soon adjudicate for free on Ryanair passengers’ complaints, though it will be next spring before it is in operation.

The CAA is confident that ombudsman-style schemes will be widely available to passengers next year and believes there will be other schemes approved to deal with airline complaints. It will end its own service in this area to major carriers once the ombudsman-style scheme clicks into gear.

However, the CAA will look after complaints about disability or mobility issues for passengers with airlines not in a scheme.

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