Belgian consumer organisation threatens legal action against Ryanair after strike
After "hundreds of complaints" from travellers about the way Ryanair is handling the consequences of the recent strike by Belgium-based cabin crew, Belgian consumer organisation Test Aankoop is formally putting the Irish low-cost airline in default. A new lawsuit – after a similar strike in 2018 a class action was launched – is not ruled out.
On Monday, Belgian State Secretary for Consumer Protection Eva De Bleeker (Open Vld, Flemish Liberals) already denounced the way Ryanair allegedly obstructs travellers who want to claim compensation for a flight that was cancelled due to the strike. She ordered the Belgian Economic Inspectorate to inform Irish authorities about the matter.
Test Aankoop also says that Ryanair "did not properly inform the affected passengers about their right to a lump sum payment in addition to the reimbursement of their ticket", the consumer organisation said in a press release on Tuesday. The airline also failed to provide a form to claim such compensation.
"After informal contact with Ryanair did not lead to a satisfying answer, Test Aankoop is now formally calling on Ryanair to respect air passenger rights", the organisation adds.
Spokesperson Simon November adds that Test Aankoop "is not excluding any means of forcing Ryanair to comply with its legal obligations, including legal action".
Ryanair's Belgian-based flight attendants went on strike on April 22, 23 and 24, partly because of the failure to reach a new collective agreement on wages and premiums. Hundreds of flights were cancelled at the airports of Charleroi and Zaventem.
After a previous series of strikes in the summer of 2018, Test Aankoop initiated a class action against Ryanair. This eventually resulted in an amicable settlement, with Ryanair promising to compensate the 33,000 or so passengers affected.
© PETRAS MALUKAS / AFP