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Ryanair, the low-cost Irish carrier, accidentally sent nearly 200 delayed passengers unsigned compensation checks that bounced when they tried to deposit them.

The airline has been plagued by pilot strikes across Europe this summer that have affected tens of thousands of Ryanair passengers. On August 10, the airline experienced the worst one-day strike in its 30-year history when pilots in Germany, Belgium, Sweden, the Netherlands and Ireland walked off the job and left almost 400 flights grounded.

Following the strikes, the airline issued 20,000 compensation checks in July. However, at least 190 people received a check that didn’t clear at the bank.


Ryanair blamed the problem on an “admin error” and said the checks were re-issued last week. “We sincerely apologise for this inconvenience which arose out of our desire to issue these compensation cheques quickly to our customers,” the airline tweeted.

Airlines in countries that are part of the European Union are required to compensate passengers in the event of denied boarding, canceled flights or long flight delays. Ryanair had originally refused to pay passengers for its strike-related delays, claiming “under EU261 legislation, no compensation is payable when the union is acting unreasonably and totally beyond the airline’s control.”

You should know what you’re entitled to when something goes wrong on your flight, like how under European Regulation 261/2004, airlines are required to compensate passengers for delays and cancellations, up to €600 ($695) per passenger per flight. Always check for credit card reimbursements for extended delays like the Ryanair passengers faced.

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