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Ryanair to increase EU261 fee to cover compensation claims

LOOK out for an increase from €2 to €2.50 in the fee Ryanair charges to pay for the European Union's EU261 legislation which offers passengers compensation.

The increase comes after the airline lost a case in the European Court of Justice brought by a passenger who was stuck by the volcanic ash cloud in Iceland in 2010, who claimed compensation of £968 to cover accommodation, transport and meals.

Ryanair argued that it could not be held responsible for such events, which it said were beyond its control and that airlines were now the 'insurer of last resort'.

Ryanair said: "Making airlines financially liable for volcanoes in Iceland, snow in Heathrow or regular ATC strikes in France and Spain is the equivalent of making Toyota and Audi liable for traffic jams in London. We should not be liable for compensation for events which are clearly outside of our control."

Current regulations provide passengers with compensation dependent upon the distance involved, and further details can be found on the European Air Passengers Rights website.

Ryanair applies the EU261 fee on a per passenger basis for all bookings, and the increase will come into force from March 1, 2013.

Related: Ryanair open up new routes between Morocco and France

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