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The Traveller's Magazine
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Standing flights, charity calendars, pay-per-use toilets… what do all of these have in common? The famous Irish low cost airline’s CEO never seems runs out of ways to keep Ryanair in the headlines. This week, it’s a new fee.

Budget travellers be warned: the next time you are ready to book flights with Ryanair don’t be surprised at an additional £2 fee added to the price of your ticket when you’re ready to check-out. All Ryanair flights as of April 4th, 2011 are subject to this new fee, a “compensation levy” to cover the cost of paying compensation to passengers when flights are cancelled.

The volcanic ash cloud schooled airlines last year when it grounded all commercial aircraft flying in European airspace for the longest time in history. Refunds to passengers were numerous and slow to be delivered. Many airlines actually disputed the claims but in the end, the dues were paid, but with extreme delays.

The Solution

What has Ryanair come up with to prevent having to dish out millions of pounds should something like this happen again? A new surcharge of £2, paid by every single passenger. In effect it’s a way for the airline to protect itself in case of new cancellations/delays caused by a force of nature. Right now, passengers affected by flight cancellations are eligible for refunds, food vouchers and even accommodations.

What does Ryanair want? They think airlines should not be obliged to pay compensation to passengers when the cancellations or delays are out of their control. In a public statement, Ryanair went on to state its position on the new levy,

“It is clearly unfair that airlines are obliged to provide meals and accommodation for passengers simply because governments close their airspace, or air traffic controllers walk off the job, or incompetent airports fail to clear their runways of snow.”

What do you think of the new fee, is it fair for passengers or not?

Img: Flickr cc.

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One response to “Ryanair: New £2 fee to cover flight cancellation costs

  1. I am inclined to agree with Ryanair. These eventualities should be covered by travel insurance. Unprecedented events (like the volcanic ash could bankrupt airlines if they were to bear the cost of passengers accommodation, rescheduled flights etc. I think it is fair that the airline should bear the cost of events which are within their control only.

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