Ryanair has completed an about turn on its stance on not paying full compensation to customers stranded during the ash cloud crisis saying it will pay “reasonable expenses”.
Michael O’Leary, the low-frills airline’s boss, said it would comply with European rules on denied boarding after rival Easyjet said it planned to pay out.
Ryanair, which said it had around one million passengers caught up in the disruption and faces pay-outs to an estimated 400,000 of those, had originally said it would limit compensation to the cost of the original ticket.
However O’Leary said today it would pay out while continuing to fight the European regulations which state EU airlines have to reimburse customers for costs during delays.
He said: “While competitor ferry, coach and train operators are obliged to reimburse passengers reasonable expenses, this reimbursement is limited to the ticket price paid to those operators, yet the airlines are required by regulation to meet potentially unlimited expense.
“Ryanair has long campaigned for these reimbursements under passenger rights legislation to be limited to the ticket price paid in the same way they are for train, coach and ferry operators.
“We will continue to work through the European Low Fares Airlines Association (ELFAA) and other industry bodies to persuade the European commission and the European parliament to alter this regulation to put this reasonable limit on these reimbursement claims”.