Thursday, April 22, 2010

Ryanair may just be right!

EU regulations rarely make for either good reading. And for the fairly large number of people whose holidays over the last week were somewhat longer than expected, recital 14 of Regulation (EC) No 261/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 February 2004 establishing common rules on compensation and assistance to passengers in the event of denied boarding and of cancellation or long delay of flights, and repealing Regulation (EEC) No 295/91 may make for rather depressing reading:
"As under the Montreal Convention, obligations on operating air carriers should be limited or excluded in cases where an event has been caused by extraordinary circumstances which could not have been avoided even if all reasonable measures had been taken. Such circumstances may, in particular, occur in cases of political instability, meteorological conditions incompatible with the operation of the flight concerned, security risks, unexpected flight safety shortcomings and strikes that affect the operation of an operating air carrier."
The media may be full of talk of Ryanair's supposed refusal to respect EU rules on airline passengers, but if volcanic ash causing a flight blackout in Europe doesn't count as extraordinary circumstances, it's difficult to imagine what would!

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