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Test-Achats prepares 50 court claims for Ryanair compensation
Belgian consumer rights watchdog Test-Achats has handled 900 complaints from Ryanair passengers following a recent spate of strikes - and has selected 50 cases to go to court.
The association has ruled out a class action lawsuit against the budget airline on the grounds that it would have taken too much time.
Instead, Test-Achats will file 50 individual claims at small claims courts in Zaventem and Charleroi - and other cases could follow.
"If the Justice of the Peace rules in our favour, we will go to Ryanair with all the other files to ask for compensation. If the company refuses again, we will go to court again," said Test-Achats spokesman Simon November.
"It makes no sense to go to court with all 900 cases, because if the judge rejects our request, he will probably do the same with all of them and we will have done all this work for nothing. But we think the judge will understand our arguments - it seems pretty clear in our opinion."
The consumer association says Ryanair is wrong to refuse compensation to passengers whose flights were cancelled following the strikes on 25-26 July and 10 August.
"If you had planned to go to a concert in Budapest for example, for which the tickets were already paid, you deserve compensation from Ryanair," November added.
An EU directive allows for compensation ranging from €250 to €600 for delayed and cancelled flights. Ryanair has refused to pay because the cancellations "were caused by exceptional circumstances".