UK Judge Orders Ryanair to Pay €250 Compensation to a Lap Child

A Ryanair 737-800 featuring "Bye Bye Baby" decal (Photo: AirlineGeeks | James Dinsdale)

A U.K. judge has ordered Ryanair to pay an infant passenger compensation because of a flight delay, a decision which the airline will challenge and appeal, potentially changing how future compensation claims will be made.

The specific case was in regards to a family traveling back from Lanzarote, Spain to Birmingham back in December 2015 which saw their flight delayed more than 9 hours.

Initially, the airline paid the husband and wife, and their daughter, but refused to pay the infant baby on the grounds that she did not have a seat, occupying her father’s lap for the flight home.

“…I see no justification for restricting the meaning of the word in this one situation to exclude those without their own seat,” the judge in Liverpool County Court stated.

The airline has responded with plans to appeal the decision, saying in a statement, “We have instructed our lawyers to immediately appeal this daft ruling. It is absurd that infants (under 2 years of age) who do not pay an airfare or occupy a seat, can now apply for up to €250 EU261 ‘compensation’ for a flight delay, when their accompanying adults will already have been compensated.”

“In this case, the two parents and a sister have already received €1,200 in EU261 compensation, which is almost four times the three one-way airfares they paid of just £104. This is compo culture gone mad,” the statement read.

“If this ruling is not overturned we will have to consider increasing the infant fee from €20 to €40 to cover these idiotic infant compo claims.”

James Dinsdale
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James Dinsdale

James was surrounded by aviation from an early age. At the age of 13 he enrolled in the RAF Air Cadets, a youth organization for aspiring young adults who wished to enter the armed forces or aerospace industry. At the same time, he started flying lessons in a C152 leading to his PPL. He left the Air Cadets to undergo his Commercial Pilot Training with a training school on a full time basis. He now flies the Airbus A319/320 series across Europe for one of the largest airlines in the area.
James Dinsdale
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