Online Travel Agents Secure £2 Million Victory Against Ryanair in Refund Dispute

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Online travel agents have emerged victorious in a legal battle against Ryanair, securing a substantial £2 million claim for the costs of refunds provided to travelers affected by package holiday disruptions due to flight cancellations and major changes.

The companies at the forefront of this successful legal endeavor are On the Beach Limited, Limited, and Classic Package Holidays Limited. The latter operates an online platform where travel agents can offer third-party travel services. Their collective assertion was that Ryanair bore a legal responsibility to reimburse passengers for canceled or significantly altered flights.

This significant claim pertained to a total of 4,191 holiday bookings, amounting to £2,074,674.37. Ryanair, disputing the legitimacy of the claim, contested the entitlement of the claimants who sought a summary judgment and attempted to dismiss the case.

The judgment, however, ruled in favor of the claimants, awarding them a total of £2,056,745.30.

In his introductory remarks within the 46-page judgment, Mr. Nigel Cooper KC, presiding as a judge in the High Court, acknowledged the substantial costs associated with this case and other ongoing legal disputes involving the same parties.

He noted that these disputes were being fervently pursued. The claimants had set a budget of £1,653,523.50 for incurred and estimated costs, while Ryanair’s budget was nearly on par, at £1,612,525.50.

In essence, the total anticipated costs for both parties leading up to the trial amounted to a staggering £3,266,049, a sum exceeding the principal amount under dispute. OTB Group, one of the claimants, estimated their costs for the action through to the summary judgment stage at £815,623.50.