EU commissioner questions legality of new Ryanair terms

2 min

Brussels (AFP)

Consumer officials should examine budget airline Ryanair's new terms and conditions, as any move to force dissatisfied customers to seek redress in Ireland would be illegal, a top European official said Thursday.

Vera Jourova, the European Commissioner for justice and consumer affairs, was responding on Twitter to a media report about the Dublin-based airline changing its terms and conditions.

"I read with concern news on Ryanair," wrote Jourova, the European Commissioner for justice and consumer affairs.

"The fact that passengers would only have the possibility to seek legal remedies in Ireland is clearly against consumer rules," she added.

"I call on Consumer Protection Authorities to examine these practices."

She was reacting to an article in Belgian daily Le Soir, which reported on consumer association Test Achats' analysis of Ryanair's new terms and conditions, introduced Tuesday.

Test Achats said that not for the first time, the company had changed its rules to make it harder for any passenger with a complaint.

It denounced Ryanair for obliging Belgian customers to submit complaints in English to a contact point in Ireland and is handling a number of actions in Belgian courts.

And it condemned its latest decision not to pay compensation to customers for some of the recent strikes that have hit it in on the grounds that they were internal disputes.

On Monday, Ryanair slashed its profits forecast and signalled job losses in the Netherlands and Germany, which it said was the fallout of pan-European strikes by staff.