Ryanair has signed a deal with Ombudsman Services that will see the organisation operate as the airline’s approved alternative dispute resolution (ADR) body.
The ADR scheme in operation comes under The Alternative Dispute Resolution for Consumer Disputes (Competent Authorities and Information) Regulations (as amended) Regulation 9. Approval to the scheme means that passengers of Ryanair who have disputes relating to issues such as denied boarding, lost baggage, delays or cancellations will be able to escalate their complaint to Ombudsman Services if a satisfactory resolution cannot be reached with the airline.
The scheme operated by Ombudsman services will be free of charge to consumers, with only a quarter (24%) saying they would be willing to pay to have their complaint addressed. The service in operation ensures that when consumers encounter a problem with a goods or service with their airline, a free and easy to use dispute resolution system exists to give consumers access to justice, away from the courts.
Ryanair signed up following legislative changes in July 2015 which meant that all dispute resolution providers need to be accepted by the government approved Competent Authority to operate within the sectors they serve. For aviation, the CAA is the competent authority with responsibility for approving potential partners.
Chief ombudsman, Lewis Shand Smith commented: “We are the UK’s largest multi-sector provider of dispute resolution. We’re also the only provider signed up by the Civil Aviation Authority to bring our ADR expertise to the aviation sector, indicating our extensive experience of working with regulated industries and professional bodies.
“The scheme is also the first of its kind to offer free dispute resolution to consumers who have an aviation problem. This is crucial as consumers tell us that they are unlikely to take their complaint further if they have to pay, so being able to offer this service free of charge is a victory for consumer rights.”