Ryanair loses volcano payout case
Budget airline Ryanair has been ordered to pay out compensation to passengers stranded because of the 2010 volcano eruption in Iceland.
The European Court of Justice said today that airlines face an obligation to provide care, even in such "extraordinary circumstances" as the eruption of the Eyjafjallajokull volcano, which left millions of passengers stranded because it was too dangerous to fly through the ash clouds.
The court gave its opinion after one Irish passenger was stranded in southern Portugal for a week during the crisis and demanded compensation of almost 1,130 euro (£970).
Ryanair has said it paid out 26.1 million euro (£22 million) to stranded passengers but it has refused many claims, citing their "excessive" cost. The court said passengers can only claim "reasonable" costs.