Ryanair forced to pay damages in Sweden

Low-cost airline Ryanair has been ordered by a Swedish court to compensate a couple from Linköping for costs incurred returning home after their flight from Brussels was canceled at the last minute.

Ryanair forced to pay damages in Sweden

The couple had traveled to Brussels in May 2006 with Ryanair and just before they were set to head back to Sweden they were told their flight was cancelled and that it would be two days before the next Ryanair flight back to Sweden.

But the couple couldn’t wait that long and so instead paid their way home through a combination travel by train, rental car, and taxi.

While Ryanair agreed to pay the cost of the couple’s airline tickets – 322 kronor ($40) – they received no additional compensation from the airline for the extra costs incurred during their harrowing journey home.

Sweden’s Consumer Ombudsman (Konsumentombudsmannen – KO) took up the couple’s case for what it saw as Ryanair’s failure to live up to the European passengers’ rights laws.

The agency filed a suit in order to force the airline to pay the 4,790 kronor to compensate the couple for the cost of their trip.

The district court in Nyköping ruled against the airline, but decided that it was only liable to pay 2,325 kronor, adding that each party was responsible of paying its own court costs.

The landmark court ruling is the first to examine exactly how for European passenger rights extend and to what extent airlines are responsible for compensating passengers.

“I see the ruling as a huge success,” said Consumer Ombudsman Gunnar Larsson in a statement.

“The district court has clearly stated that airlines must take responsibility for passengers who suffer from cancelled flights.”


UPDATE: Ryanair passenger jet makes emergency landing in Berlin over ‘fake bomb threat’

Polish police said Monday they were investigating a fake bomb threat that forced a Ryanair passenger plane travelling from Dublin to Krakow to make an emergency landing in Berlin.

UPDATE: Ryanair passenger jet makes emergency landing in Berlin over 'fake bomb threat'
A Ryanair flight making an emergency landing

The flight from Dublin to Krakow made the unexpected diversion after a reported bomb threat, German newspaper Bild Zeitung said.

“We were notified by the Krakow airport that an airport employee received a phone call saying an explosive device had been planted on the plane,” said regional police spokesman, Sebastian Glen.

“German police checked and there was no device, no bomb threat at all. So we know this was a false alarm,” he told AFP on Monday.

“The perpetrator has not been detained, but we are doing everything possible to establish their identity,” Glen added, saying the person faces eight years in prison.

With 160 people on board, the flight arrived at the Berlin Brandenburg airport shortly after 8 pm Sunday, remaining on the tarmac into early Monday morning.

A Berlin police spokesperson said that officers had completed their security checks “without any danger being detected”.

“The passengers will resume their journey to Poland on board a spare aeroplane,” she told AFP, without giving more precise details for the alert.

The flight was emptied with the baggage also searched and checked with sniffer dogs, German media reported.

The passengers were not able to continue their journey until early Monday morning shortly before 4:00 am. The federal police had previously classified the situation as harmless. The Brandenburg police are now investigating the case.

Police said that officers had completed their security checks “without any danger being detected”.

“The Ryanair plane that made an emergency landed reported an air emergency and was therefore immediately given a landing permit at BER,” airport spokesman Jan-Peter Haack told Bild.

“The aircraft is currently in a safe position,” a spokeswoman for the police told the newspaper.

The incident comes a week after a Ryanair flight was forced to divert to Belarus, with a passenger — a dissident journalist — arrested on arrival.

And in July last year, another Ryanair plane from Dublin to Krakow was forced to make an emergency landing in London after a false bomb threat.

READ ALSO: Germany summons Belarus envoy over forced Ryanair landing