Ryanair promises to boost compensation support

Ryanair promises to boost compensation support

Ryanair has pledged to make it easier for passengers to claim compensation when flights are delayed or cancelled.

The Dublin-based carrier will establish a dedicated team to process valid EU Regulation 261 claims in 10 days.

It has also committed to help disrupted customers find out what their options are using the Ryanair website or app rather than forcing them to call a helpline.

About 700,000 passengers were affected when Ryanair cancelled flights between September 2017 and March 2018 after it mismanaged pilots' annual leave.

Ryanair chief marketing officer Kenny Jacobs said the airline wanted to "take away anxiety" and "make it as simple as it possibly can be".

He went on: "We're making a promise to customers that all EU261 claims will be processed within 10 days.

"Currently this is 28 days."

If less than 14 days notice is given for a cancellation, airline travellers can claim up to €250 under EU261, depending on the timing of the alternative flight.

Only about half of all passengers entitled to a payout make a claim and Mr Jacobs said Ryanair was "looking at" making the process automatic.

The airline was accused by the UK's Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) of not complying with the law in relation to what it told affected passengers they were entitled to during the pilot shortage.

The CAA claimed the airline did not initially inform them that they were entitled to be re-routed by other carriers under EU261 rules.

Ryanair responded by emailing customers to clarify their rights.

It told them they could receive a refund or be transferred to other flights or travel by trains, buses or car hire.

Ryanair revealed that it will introduce a clause into its terms and conditions for post-Brexit flights.

Bookings will include a caveat that they are "subject to the regulatory environment allowing this flight to take place", Mr Jacobs said.

Customers will be refunded if flights are grounded, he added.

The airline will publish its schedule for flights after the planned Brexit date of March 29, 2019, next month.

Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary has repeatedly warned that carriers will be forced to cancel post-Brexit services if no agreement is reached by September.

Mr Jacobs said he believes an agreement will be found but there will initially be a transition period of two to two-and-a-half years.

Ryanair also launched a plan to remove all recyclable plastics by 2023.

That means wooden rather than plastic cutlery will be used, and biodegradable cups will be introduced.

The airline is examining whether passengers will be able to use their own cups when buying drinks, which is a policy implemented by some major coffee shop chains.

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