Currently passengers whose flights are cancelled or significantly delayed are entitled to demand the reimbursement of an array of costs including food and accommodation under a regulation known as EU261.
Ryanair is demanding that airlines be exempted from the obligation to pay compensation when events are outside their control. This would apply to extreme weather and strikes by outside organisations.
The airline said EU 261 had cost more than £88 million last year, when it was forced to cancel 15,000 flights, hitting the journeys of 2.4 million of its passengers.
The official Ryanair release is here, and reading it, it's quite obvious how majorly pissed they are about having to pay for "... meals, hotels and phonecalls during ATC strikes." And of course they're shaking their fists at good ol' Eyjafjallajökul.
When last we flew Ryanair, it was a surprisingly pleasant flight. We managed to skirt around every single fee except the credit card fee and we even purchased a 6 Euro pack of their "smokeless" cigarettes, which we just tore apart out of curiosity, really.
Now what we think about all thisbrace yourselveswe feel for Ryanair in this case. The £2/€2 fee is annoying, but last year was just a mess for European airlines, especially Ryanair, which happens to be the largest airline in Europe and therefore has the largest amount of passengers claiming days of hotels, phone calls and meals due to something Ryanair could not control. We're sure that if Ryanair was allowed to fly through the volcano ash, that they'd shoulder the risk and go for it. Yes, that's scary, but they're a hungry company, if you know what we mean.