Last week 10 minutes before my departure (in the EU) my flight (Ryanair) was cancelled (Without giving me any reason for the cancellation). No help was provided by Ryanair except I should go to the ground staff at the airport (Not Ryanair staff, there was no Ryanair counter at the airport at that time). The airport ground staff called the Ryanair and told me that I have to book a new flight at my own. Ground staff at airport also told me that I have to send the invoice of my new flight to the Ryanair and they will pay me back. No explanation why my flight was cancelled was given to me at that time.

Now this week I have claimed the EU 261 compensation and the price I paid for the new flight from Ryanair. Unfortunately Ryanair has refused to pay me anything except the original ticket price of the cancelled flight. They gave me the reason that they didn`t get the ATC slot because of the bad weather somewhere.

After Ryanair flight was cancelled, 2 different flights from two different airlines flew to the same destination as of mine (10 mintues after and 1:30 hours after my Ryanair flight).

Today I have also checked two different flight information sites and I have found that the real reason for the cancellation was late arrival of some previous flights (maybe due to bad weather at depature airports).

My question is: Can a airline refuse the compensation because of late arrival of some previous flights due to bad weather at depature airports? It is like if there is a bad weather in Singapore and the airline need same plane for a flight from London to Berlin, so they just cancel the London-Berlin flight and also refuses to pay any compensation?

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    Possibly. Regulation 261/2004 (14) might apply if the airline can prove extraordinary circumstances which could not have been avoided even if all reasonable measures had been taken. eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX%3A32004R0261 Ryanair has a bad reputation for a reason flight-delayed.co.uk/news/2019/03/14/… – Traveller Aug 2 '19 at 10:24
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    It really depends on the exact circumstances, but in general, no, delays in other airports are not a valid excuse for denying compensation. I believe there's case law on this subject. – jcaron Aug 2 '19 at 11:54
  • @Traveller the second link in your comment is not working for me. – phoog Aug 2 '19 at 12:33
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    @jcaron yeah, I am going to sue the airline on monday! – N Randhawa Aug 2 '19 at 17:58

Even if there were actual "extraordinary circumstances" in the EC261 sense, that would only get the airline out of paying the standard Article 7 compensation for lost time. They would still have a duty to offer you re-routing to your final destination (or, if you choose that, reimbursement of the ticket price you've paid) according to Article 8.

When they refused to re-route you and subsequently instructed their agent at the departure airport to tell you to fend for yourself, they flagrantly breached that duty.

You probably have a legal claim against the airline for the additional expenses you've incurred as a result of that failure, and depending on the jurisdiction you can bring the case in possibly also some kind of punitive damages for ignoring their duty of care. You will probably need to enlist the help of a lawyer to actually collect on that claim, though. If things come to a head in court, the outcome may depend on how much of the story you can prove (for example, if the airline claims they did offer you re-routing and you angrily refused).

  • Very nice reality check as to legal process. – DavidSupportsMonica Aug 3 '19 at 14:40
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    I had this happen once some time back. Since then, I always record my conversation with ground staff. I openly tell them that I am recording the conversation. Somehow the conversation continues very politely after that :) – Aleks G Aug 7 '19 at 14:44

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