Irish airlines 'face 300 compensation claims'
A Dublin-based firm, AirHelp, which helps passengers process claims against airlines, has served Ryanair and Aer Lingus with almost 300 letters of legal action as it presses them to cough up compensation the company claims the carriers owe passengers for delayed, cancelled or overbooked flights.
AirHelp said that its solicitors have sent 293 letters in recent weeks, 259 of them to Ryanair, 30 to Aer Lingus and four to CityJet.
AirHelp said it's pursuing claims under a specific EU regulation - EU261 - that it says entitles passengers to up to €600 in compensation if their flight is delayed, cancelled, or overbooked, and if the delay is not caused by extraordinary circumstances.
The firm says that of the letters it has recently sent, 84 of the cases have moved to proceedings and 30 are settled.
"We're holding the airlines accountable where the law states that compensation is due, and we hope the airlines will finally live up to their lawful obligations to passengers," said AirHelp Ireland country manager Brian Whelan.
But Ryanair insisted the figures provided by AirHelp are misleading.
"We recently received less than 80 letters from these people and most of their claims had already been settled or didn't qualify for EU 261 claims," said a spokeswoman.
"Any passengers with a valid EU 261 claim should submit it directly to Ryanair and avoid the costs of these unnecessary and expensive claim chasers," she added.
Aer Lingus declined to comment.
AirHelp claims to have hundreds more letters ready to be sent from its solicitors to the airlines in relation to the same issues.