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Ryanair - Small Claims Court help
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# 1
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Bear22
Old 27-10-2009, 4:17 PM
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Default Ryanair - Small Claims Court help

I recently flew with Ryanair to Italy with the intention of spending 5 days trekking across the Alps and returning home from an airport in France. I had to pay Ryanair to put my bag in the hold which contained all my kit - tent, stove, food - you name it.

My bag didn't turn up on my flight, and it didn't the next day either. By this time it was too late to complete my trek, and I had no way of knowing if my bag would ever arrive. In the mean time I was spending a lot of money to stay in a hotel, buy food etc which would have added up to a huge amount had I stayed for the rest of my trip.

Had my bag arrived as planned I wouldn't have spent any money in Italy as it had my tent and all my food; furthermore I couldn’t serve the purpose of the trip. Best option was therefore to cut my trip short and fly home - courtesy of an extra £250 from Ryanair.

I have complained and received my expenses for food and hotel, but they refuse to treat the extra £250 as an valid expense incurred due to baggage delay. However, I had to pick up the bag from the airport in the UK myself, and I never received an answer on their baggage line despite calling 8 times. At the airport they said my bag had never been reported missing (it had) so my bag never would have been sent to me abroad. I want to take them to a Small Claims Court to refund the extra £250 they have made from their service failings (in addition to the £30 Baggage fee they haven’t returned). However:

1. I am based in the UK. I can use the Irish Small Claims court, but if it is contested I would have to pay to travel to Ireland and so if I lose I would be even more out of pocket.

2. I can use the EU Small Claims Procedure - but if I lose I could be liable for legal costs - not going to be cheap with Ryanair's lawyers.

Am I right with my concerns listed above?

Is there a way around this? Is anyone aware of a way to bring action against Ryanair without exposing yourself to huge legal / travel costs?? I thought the idea of Small Claims procedure was to limit time and expense.

My travel insurance only covers me for trips cut short for medical reasons.

All practical advice would be much appreciated.

Thanks all
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# 2
Kenny Powers
Old 27-10-2009, 4:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bear22 View Post
I recently flew with Ryanair to Italy with the intention of spending 5 days trekking across the Alps and returning home from an airport in France. I had to pay Ryanair to put my bag in the hold which contained all my kit - tent, stove, food - you name it.

My bag didn't turn up on my flight, and it didn't the next day either. By this time it was too late to complete my trek, and I had no way of knowing if my bag would ever arrive. In the mean time I was spending a lot of money to stay in a hotel, buy food etc which would have added up to a huge amount had I stayed for the rest of my trip.

Had my bag arrived as planned I wouldn't have spent any money in Italy as it had my tent and all my food; furthermore I couldn’t serve the purpose of the trip. Best option was therefore to cut my trip short and fly home - courtesy of an extra £250 from Ryanair.

I have complained and received my expenses for food and hotel, but they refuse to treat the extra £250 as an valid expense incurred due to baggage delay. However, I had to pick up the bag from the airport in the UK myself, and I never received an answer on their baggage line despite calling 8 times. At the airport they said my bag had never been reported missing (it had) so my bag never would have been sent to me abroad. I want to take them to a Small Claims Court to refund the extra £250 they have made from their service failings (in addition to the £30 Baggage fee they haven’t returned). However:

1. I am based in the UK. I can use the Irish Small Claims court, but if it is contested I would have to pay to travel to Ireland and so if I lose I would be even more out of pocket.

2. I can use the EU Small Claims Procedure - but if I lose I could be liable for legal costs - not going to be cheap with Ryanair's lawyers.

Am I right with my concerns listed above?

Is there a way around this? Is anyone aware of a way to bring action against Ryanair without exposing yourself to huge legal / travel costs?? I thought the idea of Small Claims procedure was to limit time and expense.

My travel insurance only covers me for trips cut short for medical reasons.

All practical advice would be much appreciated.

Thanks all
Rehder v Baltic Air Corps

A claimant can claim against an airline in either the country of departure or arrival providing both are within the EU.

It is not entirely clear whether this applies only to reg 261/2004 but it certainly does seem like you can file a claim in an English or Welsh small claims court.

Neither the location of the head office of the company operating the flight nor the place where the air transport contract was entered into is conclusive with regard to the choice of the court having jurisdiction

Last edited by Kenny Powers; 27-10-2009 at 4:45 PM.
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# 3
dmg24
Old 27-10-2009, 7:33 PM
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Be aware that even if you won a case against Ryanair, that does not guarantee that they will pay up. You would therefore need to take into account the costs/ practicalities of enforcement.

On balance, I would agree with Ryanair, as your contract with them was not conditional upon you being able to complete the trek during your stay, they have no liability for the earlier flight home. What would you have done had your trek plans been altered due to other factors, such as bad weather?
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# 4
malkie76
Old 27-10-2009, 9:28 PM
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Unfortunate travel experience, but I really think you are going to struggle to get a judgement against Ryanair for your activities post flight. Their responsibility is to get you from point A to point B - seems unfair, but I don't think they can be held responsible.
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# 5
simongregson
Old 27-10-2009, 10:27 PM
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You should be able to claim some of these expenses from your travel insurance? I would have thought it would pay out for items necessary to continue your trip (clothes, tent etc)
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# 6
PolishBigSpender
Old 27-10-2009, 11:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by malkie76 View Post
Unfortunate travel experience, but I really think you are going to struggle to get a judgement against Ryanair for your activities post flight. Their responsibility is to get you from point A to point B - seems unfair, but I don't think they can be held responsible.
I don't think so either. From what I know of the UK Small Claims system, they may not look too favourably upon someone trying this and might put it higher in the system - which they have the discretion to do. In that case, the original poster could open themselves up for a considerable amount of liability.

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# 7
apt
Old 27-10-2009, 11:43 PM
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It will be up to the judge to decide, but if Ryanair failed to get your luggage to you in a reasonable time, which it is contractually obliged to do, then you can argue that it should transport you back to your luggage without charge and refund the baggage charge. In the small claims proceedure you pay a fixed fee and do not need to worry about legal costs. However, as pointed out above, even if you win your case the likelyhood is that Ryanair will not pay up. Then you would have to go back to the court and pay a further fee to have the judgement enforced.
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# 8
LemonTree
Old 09-12-2010, 11:06 PM
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My sister got screwed by Ryanair. She was supposed to fly from Memmingen (Munich, Germany) to Dublin. However, just one hour before departure Ryanair kept delaying the flight. After 3 hours of delaying Ryanair told her that the plane would now leave from Frankfurt Hahn instead - so a totally different airport 400 km away (about 250 miles). In order to get there in time she had to take a taxi sharing with two other people. The total fare for the taxi was 450 EUR - her share is 150 EUR. Now, Ryanair refuses to pay the 150 EUR.

She lives in Germany and not in Ireland.
Can she still take Ryanair to the Irish Small claims court?
Or would it be better to use the German Small claims court (the so-called "Gerichtliches Mahnverfahren")?

Thanks!
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# 9
Voyager2002
Old 10-12-2010, 8:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cityboy View Post
She can take the airline to court in either Ireland or Germany. Not only should she win her case for the taxi fare but she should also be entitled to compensation for flight cancellation, since departure from a different airport is more than indicative of a cancellation. Try googling Thomas Harbord who won compensation in just these circumstances.

Full reg here: http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/...4R0261:EN:HTML
Agreed. In fact, I am confident that once Ryanair understand that she is serious about going to court, they will pay up, since they are so clearly in the wrong.
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# 10
SaveTheEuro
Old 10-12-2010, 7:53 PM
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I believe it is usual for hearings using the small claims track to be held at a county court close to the person being pursued. However, when it is is an individual taking action against a company that is reversed. If you use the small claims track it will not cost you a fortune and you should not have to travel far.

Ryanair do not contest all hearings because of the costs involved. It's possible they will not show up on the day even if they (in advance) provide the court with their defence.
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# 11
LemonTree
Old 12-12-2010, 5:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cityboy View Post
She can take the airline to court in either Ireland or Germany. Not only should she win her case for the taxi fare but she should also be entitled to compensation for flight cancellation, since departure from a different airport is more than indicative of a cancellation. Try googling Thomas Harbord who won compensation in just these circumstances.

Full reg here: http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/...4R0261:EN:HTML
Thanks for all replies. I've checked with my sister and can add more details on this. The original flight was scheduled for 8pm in the evening. After some delay notifications she was finally informed that the flight was canceled around midnight. The next regular flight from that airport would have been three days afterwards. Therefore she insisted to be transfered to the next available flight to her destination (Dublin).
Since she asked to be transfered is she still eligible to get the taxi fare reimbursed? Also, do you think she is eligible for a further compensation?
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# 12
Voyager2002
Old 13-12-2010, 1:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LemonTree View Post
Thanks for all replies. I've checked with my sister and can add more details on this. The original flight was scheduled for 8pm in the evening. After some delay notifications she was finally informed that the flight was canceled around midnight. The next regular flight from that airport would have been three days afterwards. Therefore she insisted to be transfered to the next available flight to her destination (Dublin).
Since she asked to be transfered is she still eligible to get the taxi fare reimbursed? Also, do you think she is eligible for a further compensation?
Yes, Ryanair were obliged to get her from the original airport to her final destination, and that includes the taxi from one airport to another.

Additional compensation would depend upon the reason for the incident, but since her flight was cancelled and as a result she reached her destination more than three hours after the original arrival time, it is probable that she can claim.
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# 13
LemonTree
Old 06-10-2011, 9:33 PM
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I have to revive this thread.

I've sent off a letter before action to Ryanair notifying them about my intentions of initializing a small claims court procedure recently. Now, Ryanair claims that the cancellation of the flight was because of
Quote:
circumstances outside of their control and as such no monetary compensation is due under Article 7 of EU261/2004
Does anyone know where I can check whether this claim is true or not? Is there some authority keeping track of these "circumstances"?
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# 14
richardw
Old 06-10-2011, 9:44 PM
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If we look at http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/...4R0261:EN:HTML

and look at recitals 14 and 15

(14) As under the Montreal Convention, obligations on operating air carriers should be limited or excluded in cases where an event has been caused by extraordinary circumstances which could not have been avoided even if all reasonable measures had been taken. Such circumstances may, in particular, occur in cases of political instability, meteorological conditions incompatible with the operation of the flight concerned, security risks, unexpected flight safety shortcomings and strikes that affect the operation of an operating air carrier.

(15) Extraordinary circumstances should be deemed to exist where the impact of an air traffic management decision in relation to a particular aircraft on a particular day gives rise to a long delay, an overnight delay, or the cancellation of one or more flights by that aircraft, even though all reasonable measures had been taken by the air carrier concerned to avoid the delays or cancellations.

It appears Ryanair haven't detailed the reasonable measures that were taken to avoid the cancellation.
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# 15
Bob the Saver
Old 06-10-2011, 11:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LemonTree View Post
My sister got screwed by Ryanair. She was supposed to fly from Memmingen (Munich, Germany) to Dublin. However, just one hour before departure Ryanair kept delaying the flight. After 3 hours of delaying Ryanair told her that the plane would now leave from Frankfurt Hahn instead - so a totally different airport 400 km away (about 250 miles). In order to get there in time she had to take a taxi sharing with two other people. The total fare for the taxi was 450 EUR - her share is 150 EUR. Now, Ryanair refuses to pay the 150 EUR.

She lives in Germany and not in Ireland.
Can she still take Ryanair to the Irish Small claims court?
Or would it be better to use the German Small claims court (the so-called "Gerichtliches Mahnverfahren")?

Thanks!
Just wanted to say sorry to hear your sister got screwed
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# 16
budgetflyer
Old 07-10-2011, 6:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LemonTree View Post
I have to revive this thread.

I've sent off a letter before action to Ryanair notifying them about my intentions of initializing a small claims court procedure recently. Now, Ryanair claims that the cancellation of the flight was because of


Does anyone know where I can check whether this claim is true or not? Is there some authority keeping track of these "circumstances"?
Even if cancellation is beyond their control, although no compensation is due, assistance is. ie meals, accom and transport to + from airport.
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LemonTree
Old 04-12-2011, 7:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by budgetflyer View Post
Even if cancellation is beyond their control, although no compensation is due, assistance is. ie meals, accom and transport to + from airport.
By any chance, do you have any link for this? In particular, regarding reimbursement for transportation costs in case of cancellation beyond Ryanair's control? So far, Ryanair is only willing to cover half of the costs of my transportation for the cancelled flight.
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