Passenger payouts dispute in wake of ash cloud chaos
Regulatory bodies, airlines and passengers are disputing interpretation of compensation rules.
Airport news for Airport Hotels,Travel on 22/04/2010.
The headaches and financial pain are set to continue for both passengers and the travel industry in the wake of travel chaos caused by the Icelandic ash cloud.
Many airlines are insisting that their exposure to compensation claims from passengers stranded amidst flight cancellations should not exceed the original cost of the air tickets.
Regulatory bodies and watchdogs, however, disagree. They say the rules are clear and that passengers inconvenienced by delays to or re-routing of flights should not face further costs.
EU regulations say that if the original flight is cancelled, passengers on flights with European airlines into or out of the EU must be offered a refund or a re-routing. If passengers choose to be re-routed, they also have the right to care, including accommodation and meals, while waiting for the new flight.
Ryanair head Michael O’Lreay argues that there is no legislation that stipulates airlines must reimburse passengers for costs that could exceed the ticket value by thousands of pounds.
According to the Irish Commission for Aviation Regulation, however, the regulations say otherwise.
With thousands of travellers facing continuation of the lengthy delays caused when a cloud of volcanic ash from Iceland drifted into European airspace, the dispute is also likely to continue.
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