Ryanair takes consumer website to court (no, not Bitterwallet)
Our friends at Ryanair are off to court in June - not for crimes against customer service or on charges of behaving like four year-olds - but to take action against a consumer website.
AirTaxRefund.com works on the premise that if you cancel flights for whatever reason, then you should be entitled to a refund of any taxes or fees due. While Ryanair will refund government taxes, the airline makes it very difficult for passengers to claim them or any other fees, say AirTaxRefund.com. They want airlines to drop administration fees of up to €30 per claim, scrap the restrictive 30 day window for making claims, and see that airlines should be return all government taxes, all airport charges, all handling fees, including baggage, booking and other extra charges associated with a flight.
Such changes would obviously hit budget airlines hard - AirTaxRefund.com claims Ryanair alone held onto as much as €247 million in 2010 in taxes and charges it believes should be refunded when bookings are cancelled.
So Ryanair are off to court - not to block any attempt to makes such refunds mandatory, but to deal the consumer website a bloody nose; the airline is seeking a "declaratory order" to label the claims made by AirTaxRefund - who at one point referred to Ryanair as "bandits" - as defamatory.
In a letter to the website, Ryanair's legal representative said: "It is clear that both your press release and . . . radio advert are factually inaccurate, false and defamatory towards Ryanair. Unless we receive confirmation by return that these have been corrected to accurately reflect Ryanair’s position, then our lawyers will be instructed to initiate legal proceedings.”
Captain Pot, Captain Pot? This is Commander Kettle - can you hear me, over?