AN OVERBOOKED FLIGHT GOT US 800 EUROS CASH ON THE SPOT & HOTEL BOARD (with still more to come) - CARE OF EU REGULATION 261/2004
Firstly this applies to all air lines and not just Ryanair, but I mentioned them here as they are the most commonly posted, and also complained most about the introduction of the regulations.
We got back from holiday about two weeks ago - having booked five flights round europe with various airlines, the longest flight being roughly 3400km.
Checking into one flight we were the first to check in and went though to the departure lounge pretty early, but waited for the majority of the queue to board before making it into the last ten.
However, it turned out they had issued too many boarding passes as the flight was overbooked, and we were told we would need to come back in 12 hours (the following morning).
Upon complaining they offered us 200 euros each, but I remembered reading something about airlines trying to avoid paying the minimum compensation so often, that the EU required them to mention the regulation on the boarding passes.
Success, it was there, so I searched the details on my mobile, and got the wikipedia page explaining things...
We were entitled to 400 euros each, a hotel, food, and transfers.
Upon mentioning this, they immediately offered the 800 euros, and told us to get a taxi to a nearby hotel, offering us a voucher that covered the room and food. They told us to get taxi receipts and they would pay them when we returned for the flight in the morning.
So all went well the next day we got the flight - although they declined to pay the taxi bill - claiming we could have got a bus.
So here is summary of what you are entitled to - don't accept anything less.
Cash compensation is a payment of:
Type 1. 250, for a flight of less than 1500 km
Type 2. 400, for flight within the EU of greater than 1500 km in distance, or any other flight of greater than 1500 km but less than 3500 km in distance
Type 3. 600, for a flight not within EU of greater than 3500 km in distance where flight types are as defined in notes. Where rerouting is offered and results in the passenger arriving within two/three/four hours of the scheduled arrival time for a type 1/2/3 flight, the compensation payable is halved.
If an airline expects a flight to be delayed, passengers are entitled to refreshments and communication if the expected delay is more than:
* two hours, in the case of a type 1 flight
* three hours, in the case of a type 2 flight
* four hours, in the case of a type 3 flight
When passengers become entitled to these assistances, they must be offered, free of charge,
* Meals and refreshments in proportion to the waiting time
* Two telephone calls, fax or telex messages, or emails
* Hotel accommodation and transport between the airport and the hotel, if a stay of one or more nights, or a stay additional to that intended by the passenger becomes necessary.
So currently we have a claim lodged with the airline for the taxis and an additional claim as they let passengers board knowing there were too many - when the correct procedure was to effectively let passengers bid starting at the legal minimums above, until they had sufficient numbers accepting compensation to permit the flight to fly.
The link to the freebie takes you to the wikipedia page covering the details, PRINT ONE OFF AND SHOVE IT IN YOUR HAND LUGGAGE!
This has been in force since 18 February 2005 - so if your flight was delayed, over booked, or cancelled since that date - they should have made you aware of this - so contact the airline now for what they owe you but decided to keep quiet about.