Last Thursday a Ryanair Boeing 737 was preparing to depart Bordeaux, France for London Stansted airport when French authorities stopped the aircraft, prevents passengers from boarding, and seized the jet.
The passengers had gone through passport control and security and were about to walk on the tarmac to board the plane when airport authorities told them to turn around…
No Ryanair staff members were available, and the only communication from the airline was two text messages saying simply that the departure was delayed, and a 5-euro ($5.75) voucher for food — “less than what a sandwich cost at the airport café,”
The French government offered Ryanair subsidies. Those subsidies were declared illegal by the European Union. So France was trying to get its money back — about US$610,000 in all.
I’m of mixed mind here,
- France offered the subsidies illegal. Ryanair complied with its obligations. And France gets its money back? Really? It seems like the better solution would be to fine France for acting illegally, not to punish a company taking a deal in good faith.
- The funds have essentially been ‘in collections’ since 2014. Ryanair was served a final warning. They ignored it. Absurd as I find it, that’s the law, and Ryanair shouldn’t ignore it. Besides it’s really not that much money in the scheme of things, they probably saved this much not refilling soap in their lavatories.
- It’s pretty absurd to subsidies Ryanair, which has the highest operating margin currently of any airline in the world.
- Now the French government knows how Ryanair passengers feel trying to get compensation for long delays and cancellations.
Copyright: trevorbenbrook / 123RF Stock Photo
Passengers were moved onto another flight and departed five hours late. Ryanair paid up right away and got its 737 back the next day.
(HT: Live and Let’s Fly)