Ryanair and Brussels Airlines staff strike: “Travellers can request substantial compensation”

Brussels Airlines and Ryanair have experienced (or will experience) major strikes. In this situation, the big loser is known to all: the consumer. Julie Frère, spokesperson for Test Achats, was invited by DH Radio to explain the procedure to passengers. “Let’s be educational” She starts. “The first question you should ask yourself is if you have taken a ticket that is flexible. We know that during Covid this type of offer has been developed strongly. If you don’t have a flexible ticket, then you have to be patient. that is, you absolutely have to wait for your flight to be cancelled. When you receive this cancellation, you have two options: take a new ticket or get a refund.”

Above all, and Belgians often forget this point, they can also claim money for the trouble caused. “I insist on this point. You have the right to a fixed compensation that ranges between 250 euros and 600 euros per passenger. Quite a substantial sum. The question that matters to the consumer is how to get it. “You have to claim it from the company because a staff strike is not considered a case of force majeure, unlike what we experienced on Monday. If you ever don’t receive what you’re owed, don’t hesitate to send us a file. ”

Faced with all these strikes, travelers are strongly impacted. Especially since not everyone received an alternative offer. “For Brussels Airlines, travelers received their cancellation two days maximum before your departure. It’s short, but companies have to review all their flight schedules, which is very troublesome. The real problem is that the cancellation of the flight leads to a cascade cancellation like that of the accommodation, the car or the like. At Ryanair, communication is more of a problem…”

For the spokesman, Brussels Airlines respects its customers better. “Ryanair’s communication with passengers has always been more problematic” she decides. “In 2018, we took Ryanair to court. The Irish carrier refused to compensate passengers who demanded their fair share during strikes. This legal action resulted in a victory and passengers were able to receive their money. As a result, Ryanair uses other techniques. It does not inform passengers correctly, the links to the form do not work, they cannot be contacted… Once the passengers send a file through Test Achats, the company reacts a little faster. So it’s a happy medium with Ryanair.” In other words, to receive your money, Ryanair is not going to make it easy for you. “As a consumer, in these kinds of situations, you need to be proactive and know your rights. Don’t be pressured and if that gets in the way, you should contact organizations like ours. We’ll be there alongside the passengers.”

Purchasing power

The energy crisis and Covid-19 have done a lot of damage to the pockets of Belgians. “We publish a barometer that shows that purchasing power is falling. The problem is that these results were obtained before the inflation crisis and the war in Ukraine. The results of the barometer showed that 80% of Belgians have adapted their behavior with their energy resources. . For example, 57% of Belgians turned down the heating last winter, sometimes in proportions bordering on human dignity.”

What are the solutions to this problematic situation? ” The fall in energy prices is not for tomorrow “continues the spokeswoman.” Therefore, we must find structural measures to try to reduce the bill for the Belgians. It was not necessary to wait for the crisis to know that Belgium is one of the most expensive countries in terms of electricity bills. This bill absolutely needs to be reviewed. In addition, we launched a petition, signed by 53,000 people, addressed to Tinne Van der Straeten because the electricity bill is a tax form. It is not transparent and does not allow comparison. .”

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