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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
    Commented Aug 2, 2019 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
    Commented Aug 2, 2019 at 11:54
  • @Traveller the second link in your comment is not working for me.
    – phoog
    Commented Aug 2, 2019 at 12:33
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    @jcaron yeah, I am going to sue the airline on monday!
    – N Randhawa
    Commented Aug 2, 2019 at 17:58

2 Answers 2

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After over 18 months of court case (delay due to Covid-19), I won the case againt the Ryanair and got the EU 261 compensation and extra costs, that I had to pay after the cancellation of my flight. It was very clear that Ryanair flight was not cancelled due to weather but due to their organizational failure. But they tried everything to put the blame on the weather.

Suddenly before the last court hearing Ryanair aggreed to pay all the extra expenses, EU 261 compensation with 4% interest rate and my Attorney's fee. Ryainair avoided the final verdict from the court so that they don't have to pay other passengers of same flight. This is very sad how airlines avoid the final court verdicts so that each passenger has to go to court by its own. Also that the verdicts should not be seen as reference point for the future.

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  • Thank you so much for answering your own question!
    – JonathanReez
    Commented Jul 27, 2021 at 15:14
  • There were 2 hearings in which Ryanair provided the weather map. We also provided weather maps and how they used their airplanes. On the third hearing Ryainair Lawyer did not come to the court and wrote my lawyer - just a day before - that they will pay everything with 4% Interest rate according to the law. So there was nothing we have to fight for and case was suspended. We had the option for final verdict, but my lawyer said why should we take risk even if it is less than 0.01%. We got what we wanted and there is no need to process it further & also not seen good by court.
    – N Randhawa
    Commented Jul 27, 2021 at 21:41
  • Can you upload a copy of the final settlement from Ryanair or link to the court proceeding on the courts official website? This would help people suing Ryanair in the future.
    – JonathanReez
    Commented Jul 27, 2021 at 21:42
  • It is all in German. My lawyer got 2 letters from Ryainair lawyer which he forwarded to me. I have to delete the personal information and can upload. In these letters Ryainair gave the weather data and reference to the some old cases mostly copy paste of old judgements. Funniest part was that the Ryainair provided black and white pictures of weather satellite. On those picture it looked like that there was a big thunderstorm that day in vienna. On colour pictures provided by us the story was totally different.
    – N Randhawa
    Commented Jul 27, 2021 at 21:54
  • No worries, German is okay too! Just make sure to remove personal data. If you need help editing the PDFs, feel free to ping me in chat and I can help you out.
    – JonathanReez
    Commented Jul 27, 2021 at 21:56
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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).

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  • Very nice reality check as to legal process. Commented Aug 3, 2019 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
    Commented Aug 7, 2019 at 14:44
  • Finally won the court case but airlines have their own tricks to avoid final verdicts!
    – N Randhawa
    Commented Jul 27, 2021 at 14:55
  • @NRandhawa Your wording "avoided the final verdict" in your answer suggests that the case was settled without a trial; settlements are often conditioned upon dismissal of the underlying case. If this was what happened, then from a legal point of view you did not "win the court case." You achieved a settlement (and a good one, I think) but there was no trial and no court judgment. Commented Jul 27, 2021 at 17:03
  • No, it was not the case.There were 2 hearings in which they provided the weather maps. We also provided weather maps and how they used their airplanes. On the third hearing Ryainair did not come to the court and paid all even court fee. So there was nothing we have to fight and case was suspended. We had the option for final verdict, but my lawyer said why take risk even if it is 0.01%.
    – N Randhawa
    Commented Jul 27, 2021 at 18:10

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