Published on Friday, April 7, 2017

Ryanair ordered to pay baby €400 compensation

Ryanair has been ordered to compensate a six-month-old girl for a flight delay, even though the infant was travelling on her father's knee.

Lawyers for Bott & Co who represented Crystal Varey claimed the decision could cost airlines £10 million a year in compensation claims.

Ryanair had compensated Crystal's parents and sister for the nine hour delay to their flight from Lanzarote to Birmingham, but the airline argued that baby Crystal was not covered by EU261 flight delay compensation rules because she was travelling without a ticket and didn't have her own seat.

Her father had paid a £20 administration fee for her carriage, which the airline had claimed should be treated in the same way as reduced fares not normally available to the public, such as staff travel concessions, which aren't eligible for flight delay compensation.

However, a judge at Liverpool County Court ruled that baby Crystal should be compensated for the delay in 2015. In handing down the judgment, Judge Pearce said: "Many passengers in many situations (for example, on buses and trains) travel without having a seat. They are nonetheless passengers for that, and I can see no justification for restricting the meaning of the word in this one situation to exclude those without their own seat."

The judge also dismissed Ryanair's argument that a six-month-old would not have been inconvenienced by the delay and that compensation would be a 'windfall'.

Bott & Co said it hoped other judges would use the ruling to intervene earlier when airlines refuse compensation to infants, however Ryanair has requested leave to appeal against the decision.
A Ryanair spokesman said: "We have instructed our lawyers to immediately appeal this daft ruling. It is absurd that infants (under 2 years of age) who do not pay an air fare or occupy a seat, can now apply for up to €250 EU261 'compensation' for a flight delay, when their accompanying adults will already have been compensated.

"In this case, the two parents and a sister have already received €1,200 in EU261 compensation, which is almost four times the three one way airfares they paid of just £104. This is compo culture gone mad.

"If this ruling is not overturned we will have to consider increasing the infant fee from €20 to €40 to cover these idiotic infant compo claims."

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  • Scaremongering Ryanair?

    Ryanair have indicated, on numerous occasions, that the 261/2004 ruling means that - for every passenger - around €2 is "levied" (if every delayed passenger claims ~ which they obviously don"t!) per flight to cover the compensation costs. Following the ruling mentioned Ryanair are now talking of a €20 increased cost per infant due to 261/2004. I just wonder (tongue in cheek here) if Ryanair are scaremongering or possibly trying to gain press coverage to attract the gullible? Alternatively Ryanair why not drop the current €20 charge (which seems to vary dependent upon flight route anyway) and let the infant travel FOC as that way no compensation would be due at all plus that would get you the sort of publicity that would catch the eye.

    By Harry Cole, Monday, April 10, 2017

  • Sauce for the Goose...

    Ryanair, and all other airlines, insist that pax abide by their regulations, but scream 'unfair' when the boot is on the other foot. The law is the law and airlines must respect it. Whether they insure against having to pay compensation or choose to self-insure is up to them. Nevertheless, should they fail to fulfil their responsibilities, they have to pay for those failures. As for bringing the price paid for the ticket into the argument, that is a complete red herring. Airlines are very happy to require pax to pay 'administration fees'. Those fees should, in practice, include what amounts to a compensation insurance 'premium'. The monetary level of that 'premium' would depend, of course, on the frequency and impact of the airline's failures to fulfil their obligations.

    By Peter Lewis, Sunday, April 9, 2017

  • Ridiculous, Frivolous Lawsuit

    This is indeed greed gone mad. I agree that the compensation should never have been much more than the price of their tickets, and in the case of what the U.S. calls a "lap child" (children under the age of 2 sitting on a parent/guardian's lap), same reimbursement/compensation: If they fly free, then no compensation. If, as in this baby's case, the price was 20 pounds, then that amount compensated. This judge has set a precedent for passengers filing frivolous claims and making a ton of money off the situation.

    By LeAnne Rigsby, Sunday, April 9, 2017

  • Compensation

    FULL Compensation When You've Paid the FULL Fare. Whats next Service Animals..This is the Law Gone Mad

    By Lord Kent, Thursday, April 6, 2017

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