Staff strike at Ryanair: “Travelers can ask for substantial compensation”

Brussels Airlines and Ryanair have experienced (or will experience) major strikes. In this situation, the big loser is known to all: the consumer. Julie Frère, spokesperson for Test Achat, was the guest of DH Radio to explain the procedure for passengers. “Let’s be didactic” she begins. “The first question to ask yourself is whether you have taken a ticket that is flexible. We know that during Covid this type of offer has developed strongly. If you do not have a flexible ticket, then it You have to be patient. That is to say, you absolutely have to wait for the cancellation of your flight. When you receive this cancellation, you have two choices: take a new ticket or get a refund.”

Above all, and this point is often forgotten by Belgians, they can also claim money for the problems caused. “I insist on this point. You are entitled to fixed compensation which varies between 250 euros and 600 euros per passenger. ” A fairly substantial sum. The question that matters to the consumer is how to get it. “You have to claim it from the company because a staff strike is not considered a case of force majeure, unlike what we experienced on Monday. If you ever do not receive what you are owed , do not hesitate to submit a file to us.”

Faced with all these strikes, travelers are therefore strongly impacted. Especially since not all of them received an alternative offer. “For Brussels Airlines, travelers received their cancellation two days maximum before their departure. It’s short, but companies have to review their entire flight schedule, which is highly problematic. The real problem is that the cancellation of the flight leads to a cascading cancellation like that of the accommodation, the car or the like. At Ryanair, communication is more of a problem…”

For the spokesperson, Brussels Airlines respects its customers better. “Ryanair’s communication with passengers has always been more problematic” she decides. “In 2018, we took Ryanair to court. The Irish company refused to compensate passengers who demanded their due during strikes. This legal action resulted in a victory and the passengers were able to receive their money. As a result, Ryanair uses other techniques It does not properly inform passengers, the links to the form do not work, they cannot be contacted… Once passengers submit a file via Test Achat, the company reacts a little more quickly. So it’s a middle ground with Ryanair.” In other words, to receive your money, Ryanair is not going to make it easy for you. “As a consumer, in this kind of situation, you have to be proactive and know your rights. Don’t let yourself be pushed around and if that gets in the way, you have to contact organizations like ours. We will be there alongside the passengers.”

purchasing power

The energy crisis and Covid-19 have done a lot of damage to Belgians’ wallets. “We published a barometer which proves that purchasing power is falling. The problem is that these results were obtained before the inflationary crisis and the war in Ukraine. The results of the barometer proved that 80% of Belgians have adapted their behavior with their energy resources. For example, 57% of Belgians lowered their heating during last winter, sometimes in proportions at the limit of human dignity.”

What are the solutions to this problematic situation? ” Falling energy prices are not for tomorrow “, continues the spokeswoman. ” We must therefore find structural measures to try to lower the bill for Belgians. It was not necessary to wait for the crisis to know that Belgium is one of the most expensive countries in terms of electricity bills. This bill absolutely needs to be reviewed. Moreover, we launched a petition, signed by 53,000 people, addressed to Tinne Van der Straeten because the electricity bill is a tax form. It is not transparent and it does not allow comparison .”

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