Compensation for flight failure by strike at Ryanair!
Since 3: 00 watch tonight, the Ryanair pilots are starting their work for 24 hours!
The focus of the pilot strike is in Germany, where 250 flights have been canceled. In Germany alone, around 42.000 passengers are affected. Many passengers are now wondering what rights and opportunities they have, in particular whether they are entitled to a flat-rate compensation payment under the European passenger rights regulation.
Such a flat-rate compensation payment shall be made by an airline to a passenger in the event of a flight cancellation or a delay of more than 3 hours.
The amount of the compensation depends on the distance and is either 250, - €, 400, - € or 600, - €.
A claim of the passenger on such a compensation payment, however, does not exist if the cancellation or delay is due to extraordinary circumstances.
In connection with the pilot strike at Ryanair, numerous digital and print media are currently reporting on the claims of passengers in the event of a strike. It is generally stated that the Federal Court of Justice (BGH) classifies a strike as an "exceptional circumstance" and therefore a passenger is not entitled to compensation because of a flight failure due to a strike.
According to lawyer Michael Gabler from Regensburg, who is specialized in travel law, in the current case of the strike Ryanair still has a claim of the passengers for a compensation payment!
Background for the legal classification is the interpretation of the term "extraordinary circumstances". The decisive factor is whether a circumstance affects the airline "from the outside" or is attributable to the airline's risk environment.
The BGH, in the facts underlying its ruling, considered that a strike "from outside" affected the airline, as a strike was initiated by a union outside the airline. But even in such a situation, the airline has the duty to reorganize the flight operations as early as possible. The airline must therefore work to ensure that the impact on the totality of passengers is as low as possible. The airline has to exhaust all resources due to it to the appropriate extent.
The Commercial Court of Vienna, however, takes a different view and decided that a strike would lead to an exceptional circumstancecanHowever, an airline must concretely assert and prove why it was not possible to avoid the strike by using all available human, material and financial resources.
As a low-cost airline, Ryanair is pursuing a total entrepreneurial concept designed to offer low-cost flights at average ticket prices ranging from about 30, - € to 40, - €. Of course, this concept is only economically viable if "savings" are made in many places, eg with ground personnel or flight crew. Insofar as the staff then wants to receive a higher compensation and, if necessary, go on strike, it is a decision of the company Ryanair to grant or deny the employees a salary increase. Therefore, if Ryanair decides not to pay employees' wages and thus comes to a strike, Ryanair could argue in that case that it would not have been economically possible to pay staff higher salaries. Given a profit of about 1,45 billion euros in the financial year 2017 / 18 such an argument would hardly be credible! Ultimately, therefore, it should be concluded that Ryanair had the economic and financial resources to meet the demands of the workforce, which would have avoided the current strike. It was an entrepreneurial decision by Ryanair not to give in to the demands and to have it strike. In this respect, the cause of the current strike is to be seen in the airline itself and thus lies in the interior of the company. By contrast, there is no "outside" effect on the company, so that in this case a strike can not be an exceptional circumstance.
From the point of view of the lawyer Michael Gabler from Regensburg, who specializes in travel law, the passengers affected by the current strike at Ryanair should persistently insist on a compensation payment under the Passenger Rights Ordinance and, if necessary, sue them in court!
If you have further questions on this or other topics of travel law, please contact Mr. Lawyer Michael Gabler Contact.