In a recent judgement of the Belgian Commercial Court of Charleroi (‘Brussels South’) Happy Flights vs Ryanair, the Irish based airline company Ryanair was condemned to pay a compensation to Happy Flights, a company specialised in helping passengers to receive compensation for delayed or cancelled flights.

The courts explicitly questions the good faith of Ryanair. Ryanair deliberately opposed Happy Flights in collecting compensation from the airline companies for multiple passengers of Ryanair.

Claim collector companies such as Happy flights facilitate passengers to execute their rights under the EU 261/04 Regulation. Only after the airline company was summoned in court, Ryanair paid the compensation. Moreover, Ryanair deliberately neglected the intervention of Happy Flights.

Airline companies often make it very difficult for individual passengers to claim their rights based upon EU 261, financial compensation for delayed, cancelled or downgraded flights. In many cases airline companies need to be summoned in order to persuade the airline to make the payment.

But who wants to pay expensive lawyer fees and legal costs to claim a compensation of ‘only’ € 250,00 – € 600,00/passenger? Airlines are aware of this obstacle and thus ‘hope’ to discourage the passengers to submit their request for compensation.

Claim collecting companies, such as Happy Flights, have the means and the will to defend passenger rights against big airline companies (David vs Goliath). It is for this reason that Ryanair has the policy to ignore such companies in an attempt to make it more difficult for passengers to exercise their rights.

By this Judgement the Belgian court explicitly expresses its doubts about the good faith of Ryanair in this matter.

DE GROOTE – DE MAN law office is specialised in air passenger rights and helps claim collector company’s and passengers to exercise their rights. Contact us for more information or assistance in this matter.