Your rights as a passenger if your Ryanair flight is cancelled

Ryanair cabin crew in Spain have called ten days of strikes during September. If you are booked with the budget airline and flight is affected then make sure you know your rights.

Your rights as a passenger if your Ryanair flight is cancelled
You probably have a lot more legal rights than you think if your flight is cancelled. Photo: AFP

Has your Ryanair flight to or from Spain been cancelled?  If so, here's what you need to know:

The first course of action, if you haven’t done so already, is to know what your rights are as an air passenger. 

According to Spanish claims experts, this is what you can expect to get back from the low-cost airline in case of cancellation. 

READ MORE: Ryanair cabin crew in Spain confirm 10 days of strikes in September

1. Financial compensation of between € 250 and € 400 (but not on this occasion)

Ryanair operates mainly short and medium haul flights, so the compensation that can be claimed by those affected by the strike is € 250 if the journey is less than 1500 km, or € 400 for flights between 1500 and 3000 km.

For long haul flights of more than 3000 km that experience a delay or cancellation, passengers can claim back € 600.

In the event that Ryanair warned passengers of their flight cancellation with 15 days notice, passengers won’t have the right to request economic compensation.

That’s as long as Ryanair notifies the passenger directly and not an intermediary party that sold the flight to them. 

Even if Ryanair does get in touch 15 days before the cancellation, you still have the rights to seek economic compensation for missed hotel stays or prearranged non-refundable activities.

2. Compensation for material and moral damages

In addition to missed hotel bookings, you can claim back the ticket price for activities such as concerts, festivals, museums or other activities.

The key is to prove that the expense incurred is not reimbursable, by showing them the invoice or receipt.

3. Another flight or ticket refund

Passengers who have had their flight cancelled can request a refund of the ticket purchased, that’s if Ryanair doesn’t offer them an alternative trip or if the passenger decides not to accept the proposed flight. 

The refund limit is set at €400 for Spanish passengers if they do not accept an alternative flight.

If they do accept, they can’t be reimbursed for the ticket, but you do have the right to some financial compensation.

4. Right to receive assistance

Those who opt for an alternative flight or a different means of transport as a result of a strike cancelling or delaying their initial flight also have the right to ask for assistance. 

Food and drink are included in these rights, provided that the delay exceeds two hours.

They also have the right to free accommodation if the cancellation or delay keeps them overnight and transport to another airport or from the hotel to the airport if the overnight stay is necessary.

The airline will never be able to claim back any money for any of these expenses.


Ryanair’s cabin bag fee policy ruled ‘abusive’ by Spanish court

A Spanish court has ordered Ryanair to refund a customer who was charged for taking a carry-on bag without a special ticket, and told the airline to remove the clause from its terms and conditions.

Ryanair's cabin bag fee policy ruled 'abusive' by Spanish court
Photo: AFP

In a ruling issued last month but only published Wednesday, the Commercial Court said the budget carrier must repay the 20-euro ($22) fee plus interest it had imposed on a female passenger flying from Madrid to Brussels for taking a small suitcase of up to 10 kilos (22 lbs).

Ryanair only allows small bags into the cabin if they can be stowed under the seat in front, but larger bags of up to 10 kilos require a luggage fee, or a fee-paying priority boarding pass.

In its ruling, which cannot be appealed, the court described the airline's cabin baggage policy as “abusive” in respect to the customer's legal rights under Spanish law.

It declared Ryanair's cabin baggage policy to be null and void and ordered the airline “to remove it” from its terms and conditions.   

But the Dublin-based airline said in a statement that the ruling “will not affect Ryanair's baggage policy.”

Ryanair added that the Spanish court had “misinterpreted the airlines' commercial freedom to determine the size of their cabin baggage.”

In February, Italy's antitrust authority fined Ryanair three million euros and Hungary's Wizzair one million euros over their cabin baggage policy on grounds it was tantamount to raising ticket prices in a “non-transparent”

But last month, an Italian court cancelled the fines following an appeal by the two airlines.

READ MORE: Your rights as a passenger if your Ryanair flight is cancelled