When we think about “no-fly lists” we have to also think about how much humans, companies, and governments are prone to error. In the case of Ryanair, the Irish carrier has apologized for banning a man for being disruptive onboard a flight he did not travel on.
Ryanair Banned Passenger For Being Disruptive…But He Wasn’t Even On The Flight!
Eoin Michael Cahill was a frequent traveling on Ryanair between Dublin (DUB) and Copenhagen (CPH)…that is until he was banned for being dirusative…on a flight he was not even a passenger on.
Cahill’s boss received a note from Ryanair informing him that he was banned for his disruptive behavior onboard a DUB-CPH flight. The problem was that he was not on that flight…or even at Dublin Airport that day.
Cahill asked Ryanair to re-examine the issue but when the carrier failed to do so in a timely fashion, sued in Ireland for defamation. Now a judge has sided with Cahill and ordered Ryanair to pay up.
Ryanair has “sincerely and unreservedly apologized” for the error and promised to make things right. It will pay Cahill’s legal fees, send a follow-up note to his employer, and offer him €10,000 in compensation for what he regards as defamation (I do too).
Why would Ryanair send a note to his boss? I suspect it sent a note to the address on file associated with his ticket or account and that happened to be his business address. Even so, it’s rather sloppy due diligence to ban someone who was not even traveling that day.
This is one reason I have grave concerns over “no-fly lists.” Cahill was totally innocent, yet he had to sue to clear his name. The appeals process within Ryanair failed. Just like the secretive federal no-fly in the USA, if there is no process for appeal, the system is inherently broken.
Considering Cahill did not lose his job, €10,000 plus legal fees strikes me reasonable compensation.
> Read More: US Supreme Court Will Hear Case Concerning “No Fly List”
> Read More: Delta’s Misguided Effort to Create New No-Fly List
Ryanair banned a man for disruptive behavior who was not even a passenger on the flight in question. While it has now apologized and offered compensation to the passenger, the entire ordeal exposes the problem of airlines arbitrarily acting as judge, jury, and executioner.