The new EU rules concerning compensation for cancelled flights has caught up with one airline at least. Ryanair refused payment to passengers caught out by the abandonment of a flight from Krakow in Poland to Prestwick claiming that the problems were beyond their control. The airline said that no more seats were available for ten days. Passengers would have to either stay or find their own way back.
The Polish civil aviation authority took up the case for four passengers who alerted the agency to the problem. At first Ryanair appears to have taken a fairly belligerent attitude but after a lengthy discourse it now seems that the carrier will pay out more than ”600 ($1,140) to their clients who were left stranded in Poland. Perhaps the thought of even more penalties were persuasive. Ryanair, as with most airlines, only employ handling agents at most destination airports, even at Stansted as far as check-in is concerned. These people for the most part do not have the authority to re-schedule passengers, which is an additional complication.
In the end the passengers were still out of pocket as they were unable to prove all their costs routing via taxi to Krakow city, a bus ride to Katowice, another taxi to the airport, a flight to Liverpool and finally, a car hire to Glasgow ” a 16-hour exhausting journey. Other passengers from the flight are now thought to be considering claims.