Budget Airline Refund?


Last July four of the family and I were dumped by a Dublin-based airline (I'll call them RYA) in Treviso Airport at 11:30 p.m., three hours after the flight had been due to leave, by way of a cheery tannoy announcement, "Your flight to Manchester is cancelled; your belongings are on the tarmac." There was no other information offered beyond mention (also over the tannoy) of a refund of the cost of the flight; if we wanted it

You can imagine the angsty time of competing with many other passengers for an available hotel and looking online to do a crash course on the Flight Compensation Regulation 261/2004. The following morning was spent in an internet queue ("You are #237 in the queue") to RYA customer 'service' to extract an admission that there would be no suitable RYA flight for seven days (FC Regulations say airline should offer same or next day flights, but RYA dodged me pressing them on that one, saying I needed to look for Ryanair seven days hence). When I insisted they actually look and they found no flights of their own they said I should look elsewhere. I said that's your job (FCR 261/2004), they said they didn't have access to other airline bookings; as if a man with a phone in a hotel room was better connected than someone in a RYA office. That was the end of their involvement

So we looked at what was available and spent spent almost as much money on booking new flights (Italy to Manc via Croatia) plus two nights hotel, plus taxis and food, as the preceding fortnight's holiday itself

Back in the UK I found the RYA's own online claim form difficult to use, but that was what I had to use. A while after I had made the claim to RYA they wrote to say they were not liable for compensation or refund of expenses incurred because Treviso Airport was at fault (no evidence provided), and that they were sending £200 flight refund to my bank account and in accepting the money I waived any future claim against them. I emailed back turning down their kind offer

What to do next? FCR 261/2004 seemed to indicate RYA should refund in full and offer compensation too. But I needed help to challenge RYA and their unsubstantiated claim they weren't at fault. More online snooping and I discovered that the lawyers who trouser one third of your compensation/refund are not no-win-no-fee. They are actually If-you-fill-in-and-upload-our-claim-form-you-will-owe-us-a-minimum-of-£450-whether-or-not-we-get-money-off-of-the-airline. So sod that

Then I found AviationADR who seem to be an official ombudsman. They have a very comprehensive website, with forms to fill that collect every speck of useful data you might want to write or upload: which in my case, alongside receipts, included screenshots of the RYA online conversation, since I didn't trust them to tell the truth. During the claim you are given a case manager

Long story short: after the due process of me making the claim and being given ample time to upload all that I knew and RYA being given ample time to put forward their side of the story (they came up with a diffferent excuse to the original one, again without evidence), the AADR adjudicator ruled in our favour and sent a bill to RYA

And last week RYA did the first transparent thing they have managed at any point in nine months and paid up

Thanks to Aviation ADR for their fair and due process. The bummer is they aren't currently accepting claims for Europe's least favourite airline, but they are ready and willing to help for other airlines operating in Europe. No thanks to RYA who made this passenger feel with every episode of contact that Tiger Roll's owner could be leaning over the shoulder of the customer service operative whispering stepwise instructions on how to frustrate my legitimate claim, to put me out of pocket and to make me really feel his contempt


Senior Member
Edinburgh/Hot Rock off African Coast
With all these horror stories, I wonder why anyone would book with RYA?
It's a crap shoot but many many people can't afford to travel with the others or book package deals etc etc. We have used them frequently over the past 5 years and luckily have had zero probs whilst at the same time saving a substantial amount of cash. ( Well I suppose I have just gone &jinxed myself)


I have saxophone withdrawal symptoms
With all these horror stories, I wonder why anyone would book with RYA?
They are still cheap! And others are way more expensive...

Now, you can clearly see their strategy when it comes to customer service: NONE!

Why? Simply because most people will probably drop the case when confronted with all these hurdles.

They are in a different class of airlines. Not really bothered with bad press.

Failure? Well, **** happens: "Live with it"!

Is most likely their philosophy.

It's a good thing that there are people like @Ivan to keep them in check once in a while. I'm sure they can afford it... That's part of the game and they must have provisioned it. :rolleyes:
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