Ryanair Refuses to Pay Stranded Passengers' Bills

Regulations can go jump in a volcano, says chief
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 22, 2010 5:47 AM CDT
Ryanair Refuses to Pay Stranded Passengers' Bills
Politicians have warned Ryanair that it faces a consumer backlash if it doesn't pay up.   (AP Photo / Peter Morrison, file)

The budget airline boss who first floated the idea of charging passengers for using airplane toilets is balking at paying the food and hotel bills of fliers stranded by volcanic ash. Ryanair chief Michael O'Leary says that he doesn't care if European laws require him to foot the bill for stranded passengers. He says they'll be getting their plane fares refunded and not a penny more, the Guardian reports.

O'Leary—who challenges regulators to take him to court—is the only airline chief to flat-out refuse to pay the bills of stranded passengers, but others have made it clear they're unhappy with the regulations. Execs argue that rules requiring airlines to pay for food, drink, and accommodation for the passengers were meant to apply to individual flight delays and cancellations, not a government-ordered shutdown of all commercial aviation.
(More volcanic ash stories.)

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