The High Court has ruled Ryanair must pay compensation to customers affected by a 2018 strike action.  Thousands of flights were cancelled or delayed during that summer when pilots and cabin crew walked out.

The Sun reported at the time that 100,000 passengers, or around 600 flights, were involved.

Ryanair refused to pay compensation for affected customers, but the High Court has ruled that the budget airline must pay out.

Passengers flying to or from an EU airport get compensation if the flight is delayed for three hours or more – or if it is cancelled and the airline is to blame.

But Ryanair claimed that the 2018 strikes were due to “extraordinary circumstances”, and said it therefore didn’t have to pay up.

The CAA said “extraordinary circumstances” usually involve bad weather or air traffic controller strikes – and argued the Ryanair strikes did not fall under this category.

The High Court has finally ruled that Ryanair must pay compensation to customers.  

CAA director Paul Smith said that as Ryanair has the right to appeal the judgement, customers should wait before applying for cash.

He said: “Ryanair has refused to pay compensation to passengers affected by industrial action taken by its pilots in 2018.

“We believed that these passengers were in fact protected by law and that Ryanair could not claim its delayed and cancelled flights were 'extraordinary circumstances'.

“The High Court has today agreed with our interpretation of the law.”

According to Reuters, a spokesperson for the airline said: “We have instructed our lawyers to appeal this decision and we are confident that it will be successfully overturned.”

Which? magazine is emphatic!  Editor Rory Boland said. "The law is clear that passengers must be compensated, and Ryanair should not appeal. It should now do the right thing and pay the compensation it owes to prevent this process from dragging on any longer. The airline should also proactively inform affected passengers of their rights and the outcome of the case."