There’s nothing new about people having problems with their airlines. Canceled flights, delayed bags, missed connections, inadequate customer service – these have plagued the business of air travel for as long as anyone can remember, and it seems like these problems are here to stay, at least until we can forgo transit by air. Ever-controversial low-budget airline Ryanair, however, has taken questionable company ethics to a whole new level with their policy on refunds following the volcanic eruption in Southern Iceland.
The Irish-based airline generated more controversy than it could handle when it declared that despite European Union regulations on refunds, it would only reimburse its customers for what they had spent on tickets, leaving it up to their clients to pay for food and accommodations. Fury raged as customers were stranded and all transit crawled to a stand-still, with Ryanair refusing to compensate for their losses.
Ryanair, as a reason for this contentious logic, said that most customers were flying out of the United Kingdom and therefore should not receive reimbursements for any reservations they might have made. In response to a statement by a Ryanair spokesman, politicians and consumer groups alike pressured the airline to reconsider their decisions, threatening anything from boycott to legal action.
Luckily for those who lost hundreds, if not thousands of dollars following the conclusion to which Ryanair came, the airline has decided to ‘moderately’ compensate those who had prior engagements. Estimates say that Ryanair may have to reimburse nearly half a million customers.
Some could see the reasoning behind the conclusion that Ryanair first came to, however. As a low budget airline, they believe that the regulations should take the cost of the flight into account. A member of the European Low Fares Airline Association (ELFAA), they feel that they are not adequately represented by European Union rules and regulations.
Ryanair has confirmed that their clients would receive what they consider to be fair reimbursements for the many expenses sustained. The fight is reportedly far from over, however – Ryanair has stated that it will pursue a reform of the regulations that hold Ryanair to the same standards as other, higher priced airlines.
[Image: Escape Voyage]