On Sunday, Rijeka Airport announced three Ryanair return flights from Charleroi, London, and Stockholm. However, only the plane from Stockholm landed and took off from Rijeka airport, and the other two flights were canceled, reports Croatian Aviation.
Due to the strong wind in Rijeka on Sunday morning, flights to London and Brussels were canceled, which in itself would not be news if the problem did not arise in communication between the airline and passengers.
Namely, several passengers who were supposed to travel from Rijeka to Charleroi Airport saw that their flight was canceled. And due to the strong wind at Rijeka Airport, the Ryanair plane landed at Pula Airport instead of Krk.
At 11 am, the plane took off from Pula for Rijeka, where it was supposed to land, pick up passengers for Brussels and, with a two-hour delay, bring them to their destination in Belgium. As the wind did not calm down, the plane flew back to Charleroi without the Rijeka passengers.
About 30 passengers awaited the arrival of the plane at Rijeka Airport, and according to information from the airport, they were informed that, in the worst case, if the plane fails to reach Rijeka, they will be transported by bus to Pula and go to their planned destination from there. In the end, neither happened – Rijeka passengers did not go to Pula, and Ryanair’s plane eventually failed to land in Rijeka.
Only a little later, the same story happened with the Ryanair flight between London and Rijeka. Due to the wind, the plane diverted to Pula and then took off from Pula to Stansted Airport without the passengers in Rijeka.
According to EU Regulation 261/2004, in case of flight cancellation due to bad weather conditions, passengers are not entitled to compensation but have the right to care, refund, and be redirected under similar conditions to the earliest flight to the planned destination. As Ryanair’s next flight from Rijeka to Charleroi is only on April 7, passengers will probably make their trip from nearby airports, Zagreb and Zadar, from where Ryanair also operates to the airport.
However, the passengers did not receive any notification via e-mail about the flight cancellation and other possibilities, or that an additional flight from Rijeka was mentioned on Monday to transport passengers to their destinations, which was an information error.
As all this happened due to force majeure. Ryanair made the best option for itself as an airline – it canceled flights for which it knows it will not have to pay a fee of 250 euros per passenger and offered passengers the next direct flight, which is a business move. Passengers could still be transported from Rijeka by bus to Pula, from where they would travel to their destinations on the same day with a certain delay, but Ryanair did not do so due to additional costs, and above all not to jeopardize the implementation of its other scheduled flights on Sunday with just those planes.
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