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Ryanair

Want Compensation for Your Canceled Flight? Too Bad. Ryanair’s CEO Has Bigger Problems

Want Compensation for Your Canceled Flight? Too Bad. Ryanair’s CEO Has Bigger Problems
Jennifer Billock

Ryanair’s CEO is in hot water for insulting pilots and refusing to compensate passengers for flights that were affected due to a strike—he says that paying out compensation after the strike takes all power away from the airline in its fight against unions; the pilots’ union says he’s making things worse.

After a strike over the summer by Ryanair staff, the airline’s CEO Michael O’Leary is refusing to pay passengers compensation for flights that were disturbed by the dust-up. More than 100,000 passengers were affected, and the Civil Aviation Authority insists that Ryanair should pay them all the roughly $280 compensation guaranteed by law.

“There’s an enormous can of worms being opened up here by a bunch of lazy regulators at the CAA,” O’Leary told The Times. “If you have to pay compensation every time someone goes on strike, you remove management’s ability to face down the unions. They know you have to roll over. It’d be the only industry where a bunch of layabouts can go on strike and run up a big compensation bill.”

Brian Strutton, the general secretary of Balpa, the pilots’ union, responded to O’Leary’s comments, noting that he’s just making things worse.

“Ryanair’s true colors seem to be showing through once again as O’Leary talks about ‘facing down the unions’ and insults his staff as ‘a bunch of layabouts,’ Strutton said. “I don’t know if he’s goading the unions into more strikes or if he just can’t control what he says, but he’s fueling the industrial unrest in Ryanair every time he speaks about it.”

 

[Image: Flickr/World Travel & Tourism Council]

View Comments (7)

7 Comments

  1. jjmoore

    December 17, 2018 at 2:31 pm

    Terrible airline with a terrible CEO. The EU needs to force them to compensate, and hopefully bankrupt this worthless annoying airline.

  2. htb

    December 18, 2018 at 8:37 am

    I thought no compensation was due in case of strike. Did that change? I’d welcome that, since avoiding a strike is not completely out of the airline’s control…

  3. strickerj

    December 18, 2018 at 1:33 pm

    Yeah, I don’t get this – Ryanair failed to provide the service its customers had paid for due to a labor issue, which isn’t exactly in the league of weather or natural disasters – I don’t see how they can just throw up their hands and say “out of our control, deal with it”. Make it so a strike is no loss for the company, and the union loses all of its leverage.

  4. quant_93

    December 18, 2018 at 4:29 pm

    If the union calls a strike and causes the cancelled flights then have the union pay the compensation. Not the airlines fault.

  5. bobbysfca

    December 19, 2018 at 10:03 am

    Strickerj, quant_93 …. Sounds like two sides of the same coin. And you’re both partly correct. So – how about this… In the event of a strike, the company and the union have to split the compensation payments proportionally to their economic size?
    I’d bet Dollars to Pesos that both sides would feel a greater incentive to negotiate in good faith, and all strikes would be 90% shorter in duration.

  6. AndreaNewEngland

    December 19, 2018 at 2:10 pm

    Not surprised I suppose. We made the mistake of flying with them to Italy a couple of weeks ago. They told me to download the app and display my boarding pass that way. Didn’t bother to say that it doesn’t work out side the EU. The flight was from TLV, I’m in Tel Aviv. They gave me a load of sh*t and ended up charging 40eu to print us boarding passes. Fighting now to get that back, but I’m not that hopeful.

  7. makrom

    December 21, 2018 at 3:57 am

    He is absolutely right that this would give the unions tremendous leverage. In the case of FR I wonder though if that would be such a bad idea.
    However, let’s not forget that pilote strikes are far from limited to those airlines with bad working conditions or low wages.
    Do we really want to see AF or LH pilots with that kind of power? I don’t think strikes are justified in job markets that are already favorable for employees. Personally, I would never go on strike rather than just change my employer.

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