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Ryanair customers could be put off claiming MILLIONS in compensation for delayed flights

Mirror logo Mirror 11/12/2016 Stephen Hayward
Credits: Getty© Provided by Trinity Mirror Plc Credits: Getty

Ryanair customers could be put off claiming millions in compo cash for delayed flights as the firm has said they can only take disputes through the Irish courts, the Sunday People can reveal.

Under EU rules, ­passengers held up for more than three hours can claim between £200 and £510. But thousands have ­struggled to get their cash as airlines claim delays were out of their control.

And now budget operator Ryanair – headed by controversial Michael O’Leary – has said any disputed claims are ­governed by Irish law under its tweaked terms and conditions.

Nicholas Parkinson of flightdelays.co.uk said: “This has come as a great shock. If passengers were only able to bring a claim using Irish solicitors in the Irish courts, the vast majority living outside Ireland will probably not bother.”

Airlines have been accused of sitting on millions in payouts – and latest figures show 4,000 cancellations and 120,000 delays across Europe in August alone.

Details of the new Ryanair clause emerged ahead of a Liverpool court case next April, brought by a Ryanair passenger whose flight to Italy was delayed.

Mr Parkinson believes the issue of jurisdiction was resolved when European courts decided passengers could bring claims either in the country they flew from, landed in or where the airline is based.

He added: “To our knowledge, there are no other reputable airlines with a similar clause in their terms and conditions.”

But an airline spokesman said: “Ryanair requires customers to submit claims directly before engaging third-party ‘claims chasers’ like Flight Delays.

"We do this to ensure customers receive 100 per cent of their EU compensation ­without deduction of claims chaser fees, which in the case of Flight Delays can amount to 50 per cent of the compo.

“As customers can claim directly from us, with no fees, claims chasers provide no useful service. They don’t like our terms and conditions as they are designed to protect customers.”

Other controversial ideas at Ryanair are said to have included a £1 fee to use jet toilets. n 2010, Mr O’Leary said he planned flights on which passengers stand – but aviation authorities rejected the idea over safety fears.

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