RYANAIR is facing enforcement action by the airline regulator over its refusal to compensate passengers for flight disruption caused by staff taking strike action.
The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said the low-cost airline has rejected compensation claims and has now ended its agreement with AviationADR — a CAA-approved body for alternative dispute resolution of passenger complaints.
The CAA said it does not believe the strikes are ‘extraordinary circumstances’, as Ryanair has claimed, and are therefore not exempt, meaning its customers should be compensated.
The CAA said passengers with an existing claim will now have to wait until the outcome of its enforcement action against the airline.
Airlines can refuse to pay out for ‘extraordinary circumstances’, which normally involves bad weather or air traffic controller strikes.
A Ryanair spokesman said: ‘Courts in Germany, Spain and Italy have already ruled that strikes are an extraordinary circumstance and EU261 compensation does not apply.
‘We expect the UK CAA and courts will follow this precedent.’
■ Deliveroo riders lose court battle for rights
DELIVEROO riders do not have the right to collective bargaining, the High Court has ruled in the latest case involving the so-called ‘gig economy’.
The Independent Workers Union of Great Britain (IWGB) attempted to overturn a ruling which found that riders are not entitled to collective bargaining rights because they are ‘self-employed’.
Mr Justice Supperstone said as Deliveroo riders are not ‘in an “employment relationship” with Deliveroo, the right to bargain collectively was “not engaged in this case”.’
IWGB general secretary Jason Moyer-Lee said: ‘Today’s judgment is a terrible one, not just in terms of what it means for low-paid Deliveroo riders, but also in terms of understanding the European Convention on Human Rights.
‘Deliveroo riders should be entitled to basic worker rights as well as to the ability to be represented by trade unions to negotiate pay and terms and conditions.’
Dan Warne, UK managing director of Deliveroo, said: ‘We are pleased that today’s judgment upholds the earlier decisions of the High Court and the CAC that Deliveroo riders are self-employed, providing them the flexibility they want.’
■ Drink-fuelled violence at train stations doubles
THE number of violent offences fuelled by alcohol at Britain’s railway stations over the festive period has more than doubled in two years, new figures show.
There were 189 cases between November 24, 2017, and January 2 compared with 105 in the same period two years earlier, according to British Transport Police data.
Violence is often directed at other passengers or station staff and frequently results in injuries and arrests.
Network Rail published the figures to mark the launch of a campaign with charity Drinkaware urging people to take care of their friends and colleagues when travelling on the railway this Christmas.
It has released footage (above) showing passengers falling off platforms and walking across train tracks.
■ Wills and Kate thank armed forces on Cyprus trip
THE Duke of Cambridge has said ‘thank you’ on behalf of the nation to Britain’s Armed Forces serving overseas this Christmas and paid tribute their commitment and sacrifices.
William’s words of praise came as he and wife Kate visited Cyprus for a whirlwind tour of a military base to meet RAF personnel and other UK forces deployed to the Mediterranean island.
After meeting air and ground crew from RAF Akrotiri and other forces in a hangar, William praised the efforts of Britain’s Armed Forces.
He said ‘Thank you for your commitment and thank you for your sacrifices.
‘We are in your debt and Catherine and I feel very lucky to be able to spend time with you today.’