This Ryanair passenger was left with a €1,407 bill due to air traffic controller's strike

One Ryanair passenger has been refused compensation for his €1,407 trek home after he missed a Ryanair flight due to strike action writes Roisin Burke.

French man Antoine Sabbagh was to travel from Lisbon to Brusssels after a family holiday in Portugal with his wife and two children but were unable to make it through security on time for the flight due to ongoing strike action by air traffic controllers.

Antoine said they arrived at the airport two hours before their flight, which should have been adequate time to make it through security in normal circumstances.

However, they did not make it through and the flight took off without them.

Antoine said that his family received no notification of the strike action from the airline that could have warned them of the delay, unlike other airlines which issued an email to all passengers.

The Sabbagh family say they then went to the Ryanair ticket office of the airport and asked for another flight and were told they would have to wait four days before they could travel.

Mr Sabbagh said he and his wife both needed to get home for work and the children were expected back at school so they had to buy four tickets to Paris with another airline and then travel by train to Lille where they live in order to be home on time for their commitments.

Antoine wrote to Ryanair for compensation citing the lack of prior notification and strike action as reasons, but was told the company would not be offering him any compensation, not even for the original flight that he was unable to take.

Antoine said he is one of many passengers who were forced to make alternative arrangements after missing the flight.

Antoine said: "The Ryanair website offers compensation for cancelled flights or if a passenger is denied boarding, but does not specify the remedies available with regard to strike action.

“I understand that Ryanair is not responsible for this strike. But the company didn’t inform its passengers the day before to say to come earlier at the airport.

"And at the airport, Ryanair didn’t help us at all, they closed the gate 45mns before the plane took off. They only proposed us another flight…4 days later.

"And yes I am not satisfied from their response. They don’t even refund the cost of the ticket of the plane I couldn’t have taken.

"And also, I’m sure that hundreds of people are in the same situation than me”

A statement from Ryanair said: "Over 175 customers were at the boarding gate on time to travel on this flight to Brussels. While we regret Mr Sabbagh missed his flight, this was his responsibility. Since the seats that were booked operated empty in his absence, there are no grounds for compensation in this case. Please pass on our apologies to Mr Sabbagh."

KEYWORDS: ryanair


By Roisin Burke

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