Ryanair facing a 545,000 dollar fine for consumer law violation
Ryanair, Europe's leading low-cost airline, is facing a hefty fine of over half a million dollars after Hungary's Supreme Court upheld a previous order related to consumer protection laws. This latest fine, amounting to approximately $545,000, comes as a result of the airline's failure to update passengers about a flight delay that occurred earlier this year. Despite being a prominent player in the global aviation recovery, Ryanair continues to grapple with legal disputes related to consumer protection violations.
Hungarian Court upholds the consumer protection order
In a recent decision, the Budapest municipal government office ordered Ryanair to pay HUF200 million Forints (equivalent to approximately $545,000) for breaching consumer protection laws. The incident in question pertains to a flight delay on a Ryanair flight from Budapest to Gran Canaria that took place in February. During this delay, the airline failed to adequately inform passengers about the schedule change and neglected to follow the appropriate procedures for handling such situations. Hungary's Supreme Court, known as the Curia of Hungary, has now ruled in favor of the Budapest municipal government, upholding its decision to fine the budget carrier.
Ryanair: Other consumer law violations
This is not the first time Ryanair has been slapped with fines for consumer law violations. In August, the airline faced a substantial fine of €5.6 million (approximately $6.1 million) for not compensating passengers following a cabin crew strike in 2018. This two-day strike led to the cancellation of over 300 flights at Spanish airports. Despite Ryanair's appeal against the fine, it was ultimately rejected by the Supreme Court. The ruling found that Ryanair had violated EU legislation concerning passenger assistance during delays and cancellations. The EU261 law dictates that passengers can claim compensation when flight disruptions are not caused by external factors beyond the airline's control.
Ryanair's history with legal challenges
While Ryanair has faced its fair share of legal challenges, it has also managed to secure favorable judgments in the past. In June 2022, the Hungarian Government imposed a tax on companies with strong financial performance, in response to the inflationary pressures stemming from the conflict in Ukraine. Ryanair, being one of the companies targeted, lobbied for the tax to be removed, arguing that it could adversely affect flights and tourism to Hungary. Subsequently, a consumer protection investigation initiated by the Budapest municipality found that Ryanair had engaged in deceptive practices, resulting in a €763,000 fine. However, this fine was later annulled by the Metropolitan Court of Budapest.
Despite its ongoing legal disputes, Ryanair continues to take the lead in the global aviation recovery. According to the OAG October Airline Frequency and Capacity Trend Statistics report, Ryanair, along with India's IndiGo, stands at the forefront of aviation recovery. Both airlines are now operating at a higher frequency than they did in 2019. While Ryanair may be grappling with fines and legal challenges related to consumer protection laws, its commitment to delivering low-cost air travel remains unwavering, and it plays a pivotal role in the resurgence of the aviation industry on a global scale.
The recent fine imposed by Hungary's Supreme Court is yet another chapter in Ryanair's history of legal disputes over consumer protection violations. While the airline faces financial penalties for its non-compliance with consumer laws, it remains a dominant force in the ongoing recovery of the aviation industry. As Ryanair continues to navigate these legal challenges, it emphasizes the need for airlines to uphold consumer rights and adhere to EU regulations while providing efficient and affordable air travel services.
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MYFLYRIGHT is a legal tech company, specialized in the support of airline passengers affected by flight delays, flight cancellations, denied boarding, delayed or lost luggage and the refund of unused airline tickets. MYFLYRIGHT was founded 2016 in Hamburg, Germany. The company operates out of 3 offices, its headquarter in Hamburg and its branches in Prague, Czech Republic and Zaporizhia, Ukraine. Currently, MYFLYRIGHT employs a team of around 25 people working in Marketing, Operations, Legal, Customer Support and IT. The organization operates across 5 markets – Germany, United Kingdom, Romania, Austria, and Switzerland.
MYFLYRIGHT’s goal is to provide access to justice for all aviation passengers who experience irregularities in their flight transportation. Notably, 75% of all compensation requests submitted by passengers get rejected. Whereas, MYFLYRIGHT is able to successfully execute the applicable customer claims in more than 98% of cases at court.
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