The Dutch consumer rights group Consumentenbond has made a formal protest about a government inspector decision not to fine Ryanair for refusing to pay passengers compensation for delays.
Transport ministry inspectors last week said it is up to the civil courts to decide if the Irish budget airline should compensate passengers for the delays they faced during last year’s strikes.
Ryanair has refused to pay passengers any compensation, arguing the strike was outside its control.
Several thousand passengers have applied for compensation and an estimated 100,000 faced delays and cancelled flights, according to Consumentenbond estimates.
A spokesman for the transport ministry inspectorate ILT told news website Nu.nl the agency had imposed fines on airlines in the past, but that it is now up to the courts to decide what should happen next.
The Consumentenbond says the agency is sticking its head in the sand. ‘The regulator is legally obliged to check whether Ryanair’s actions contravene European legislation and impose sanctions if they do,’ director Sandra Molenaar said.
The civil courts, she said, can only decide in individual cases and cannot fine the airline for failing to make payouts, she said.
Under EU rules, passengers are entitled to compensation when a flight is delayed for more than three hours or when it is cancelled less than 14 days before the flight.
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