Ryanair’s move to modify its general conditions of sale, obliging passengers to use Irish courts if they wish to file complaints or lodge claims, is illegal, the Test-Achats consumer organization said on Thursday. The formulation and content of this new provision, which came into effect on Tuesday, can be considered abusive and contrary to both European and international private law, according to Test-Achats, which said it would send a demand letter to the low-cost Irish carrier.
Test-Achats had previously denounced Ryanair provisions on claims and complaints that obliged Belgian consumers to file their complaints in English to a contact point in Ireland. That practice was later scrapped “even if we know that Ryanair does everything possible to discourage the filing of complaints or requests for compensation,” the consumer organization noted.
It cited as an example the “disinformation organised by the company” during strikes in the past two months, when it denied any compensation for disruptions due to internal social conflicts.
Test-Achats collected close to 1,400 complaints from travellers affected by the strikes and filed 50 lawsuits at the end of August with district courts in Zaventem and Charleroi, the consumer organization said. The suits were filed with the jurisdictions closest to the take-off points of the planes concerned, pursuant to the rules of international private law, European law, and recent jurisprudence of the Court of Justice, it explained.
Test-Achats added that it would send a demand letter to Ryanair on Thursday, asking it to scrap the abusive, and therefore illegal, provision, failing which it would seek an injunction against it.