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Ryanair 2018 summer strike: Is Ryanair legally entitled to refuse compensation?


Ryanair has been cancelling thousands of flights this summer and repeatedly said they would reject compensation claims. Here’s why we believe they are wrong and you are owed money.

What is Ryanair saying:

“Under EU261 legislation, no compensation is payable when the union is acting unreasonably and totally beyond the airline’s control. If this was within our control, there would be no cancellations.”

Legal precedents in favour of the passengers

The ECJ Court ruled that the spontaneous absence of a significant part of the flight crew staff (‘wildcat strikes’), which stems from the surprise announcement by an operating air carrier of a restructuring of the undertaking, following a call echoed not by the staff representatives of the company but spontaneously by the workers themselves who placed themselves on sick leave, is not covered by the concept of ‘extraordinary circumstances' within the meaning of that provision.

The Court of Justice said: "The wildcat strike at issue in the main proceedings cannot be regarded as beyond the actual control of the air carrier concerned3 "Apart from the fact that the wildcat strike stems from a decision taken by the air carrier, it should be noted that, despite the high rate of absenteeism mentioned by the referring court, that wildcat strike ceased following an agreement that it concluded with the staff representatives."

"Therefore, such a strike cannot be classified as an 'extraordinary circumstance'."

This ruling means that European judges believe that airlines are responsible to ensure they have contingencies in place to guarantee their passengers will arrive on time

Weclaim is confident that Ryanair’s refusal to pay compensation is illegal.

Were you affected by such strikes? Start your claim with us now, or get in touch!

by Frédéric PELOUZE, Weclaim Founder & Director

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