Ryanair won’t drop card fees despite law

Budget airline Ryanair has said it has no plans to stop charging fees for bank card payments, despite a new Swedish law intended to ban the practice.

Airline spokesman Stephen McNamara told newspaper Södermanlands Nyheter that the budget airline’s payment system had not been adapted to take account of the new Swedish law, which came into force on August 1st.

McNamara told The Local on Tuesday that customers pay ‘administration charges’ when paying with any card other than a MasterCard Prepaid. These, he said were not the same as the banned credit card booking fees:

“Ryanair does not operate a credit or debit card payment fee. Ryanair bookings may be subject to an administration charge which all passengers can avoid by using MasterCard Prepaid to complete their booking.”

The Swedish Consumer Agency (Konsumentverket) says it will investigate any complaints against the Irish airline:

“If we get reports showing in black and white that Ryanair is charging supplementary fees then we will contact them, but we have to wait until we get reports,” spokeswoman Sharon Lavie told Södermanlands Nyheter.

“This law also applies to Ryanair,” said Lavie.

She stressed that the company was bound by Swedish rules since airline tickets may be purchased from a Swedish language section on the Ryanair website.

This story was updated on Tuesday to include clarification from Ryanair.

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Ryanair flights grounded as pilots strike

Ryanair's pilots in Sweden went on strike on August 10th, with several flights cancelled at Skavsta.

Ryanair flights grounded as pilots strike
Ryanair flights cancelled on Friday at Skavsta Airport. Photo: Stina Stjernkvist/TT

Pilots in Ireland, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands also joined the 24-hour strike over demands for a collective labour agreement and better working conditions and representation.

In Sweden, around 40 Ryanair pilots were striking until midnight between Friday and Saturday.

“Today our members are on strike to demand their rights. For decades Ryanair has refused their employees basic labour rights most employees on the labour market take for granted, but here a strike is necessary to show the airline that it no longer can avoid treating its employees in a dignified manner,” Martin Lindgren, President of the Swedish Pilots' Union, said in a statement.

Twenty-two flights which were due to depart or travel to Skavsta Airport south of Stockholm on Friday.

The airport usually welcomes around 700 travellers for the first few departures of the day, but on Friday morning the building was almost completely empty, news agency TT reported.

“We want to again apologize to customers affected by this unnecessary disruption and we ask the striking unions to continue negotiations instead of calling anymore unjustified strikes,” tweeted Ryanair.

Compensation can be claimed for some cancelled flights but it varies and depends on how much information was given in advance. For journeys under 1500km a maximum of €250 can be claimed (or €400 for flights between 1500 and 3,000km), but in the event that the airline directly warned passengers of their flight cancellation with 15 days' notice, there is no right to request economic compensation. More information can be found here