Ryanair Exposes “Claims Chasing” Firms’ Misleading Practices

15 Dec 2016

Ryanair, Europe’s No.1 airline, today (15 Dec) released correspondence with FlightDelays.co.uk (Hughes Walker Solicitors), which exposes how “claims chasing” firms are misleading airline customers into making compensation claims through them, but then charging up to 50% of the compensation they are entitled to. This firm has to date rejected offers from Ryanair which would have resulted in compensation being paid in full (and faster) to consumers.

In letters sent to Flight Delays in June and November 2016, Ryanair revealed how:

  • Flight Delays is failing to act in the best interests of customers by not advising them to make claims directly with Ryanair and is instead deliberately inducing them into unnecessary legal proceedings, for the sole benefit of Flight Delays, a practice which has been criticised by Liverpool County Court.
  • Flight Delays is deliberately issuing court proceedings early to establish its ‘lien’ over customers in order to secure its excessive (up to 50%) cut of compensation due, a practice Liverpool County Court found “unreasonable”.
  • Ryanair has offered to allow Flight Delays to host a link to the Ryanair EU261 Disruption Compensation claim form on the Flight Delays website, in order to assist customers with making claims simply and quickly. This offer has to date been rejected.
  • Ryanair has offered to pay a €25 fee to Flight Delays (the equivalent of its administration fee) for every valid claim submitted to Ryanair on the condition that no deduction is made by Flight Delays to the compensation paid to the customer. This offer has to date been rejected.
  • Ryanair has offered to indemnify Flight Delays for the payment of fees which are not recoverable where Ryanair has paid compensation in full directly to a customer, after proceedings have been issued. This offer has to date been rejected.

Ryanair urged customers with valid EU261 compensation claims to claim directly from Ryanair and avoid these “claims chasing” firms who are ripping off consumers by charging up to 50% of the compensation they are entitled to and deliberately bringing them through the courts. Customers with valid claims who claim directly from Ryanair will receive 100% of their EU261 compensation entitlement without the deduction of these excessive “claims chaser” fees.

Cases involving UK “claims chasing” firms will be heard in the Irish courts under a jurisdiction clause (which has been part of Ryanair’s Terms & Conditions of travel since 2010) solely to protect consumers and force UK “claims chasers” to discontinue their abusive practices. However, if an individual UK customer makes an EU261 claim directly to Ryanair (as required) and their claim is rejected, then that customer is free to pursue his/her claim in the UK courts if they so wish.

Ryanair again called on the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to enforce better regulation of “claims chasers” to prevent more customers being ripped off by these self-serving firms.

Ryanair’s Kenny Jacobs said:

“As Europe’s most reliable airline, Ryanair has the most on-time flights, the fewest cancellations, and in the rare event of delays or cancellations, Ryanair complies with all EU261 legislation, where customers with valid claims for compensation can simply process their claim via the Ryanair.com website, free of charge or deduction.

These “ambulance chasers” of the aviation industry are deliberately misleading customers to sign liens in order to feather their own nests and then charging up to 50% of the compensation due for simply submitting a claim that can be made free of charge on the Ryanair.com website.

In an effort to prevent customers being misled and “scammed” in this manner, Ryanair has offered to pay Flight Delays the €25 admin fee it charges customers for every claim settled, on condition they do not deduct any fees from the compensation paid to customers. Ryanair has also offered to indemnify Flight Delays for the payment of their fees in cases where we have paid compensation directly to the customer following the issuing of proceedings. These offers have to date been rejected because firms such as Flight Delays are only interested in scamming customers for their grossly excessive fees.

The anti-consumer fee practices of these “claims chasing” firms is nothing short of a scam and it’s time these legal vultures were stopped. We call on the CMA to enforce better regulation and we urge all customers with valid claims to avoid being ripped off, by simply submitting their claims directly on the Ryanair.com website and avoid Flight Delays excessive fees.”


17 June - Ryanair Letter to Flight Delay

https://www.ryanair.com/content/dam/ryanair/hwletters/1.pdf

28 June - Flight Delay letter to Ryanair

https://www.ryanair.com/content/dam/ryanair/hwletters/2.pdf

7 November - Flight Delay letter to Ryanair

https://www.ryanair.com/content/dam/ryanair/hwletters/3.pdf

23 November - Ryanair letter to Flight Delay

https://www.ryanair.com/content/dam/ryanair/hwletters/4.pdf