Dec. 5 (UPI) -- Thousands of passengers who had travel plans disrupted by a Ryanair strike over the summer have been denied compensation for the canceled flights.
The low-cost airline argues the strike was an "exceptional circumstance" and should be exempt. As such, it has declined to compensate the affected travelers.
Ryanair contends the strike caused airline staff to walk out in Germany, Sweden, Ireland, Belgium and the Netherlands last summer. The carrier promised alternative flights at the time.
The British Civil Aviation Authority plans to take legal action on behalf of the travelers.
"Courts in Germany, Spain and Italy have already ruled that strikes are an 'exceptional circumstance' and [financial] compensation does not apply," Ryanair said in a statement. "We expect the U.K. CAA and courts will follow this precedent."
Ryanair has been negotiating agreements with various labor groups in the countries to prevent further strikes.
"Customers would have been outraged that Ryanair attempted to shirk its responsibilities by refusing to pay out compensation for canceling services during the summer -- which left hard-working families stranded with holiday plans stalled," Rory Boland, a travel editor with the consumer group Which?, said. "It is right that the CAA is now taking legal action against Ryanair ... to ensure that the airline must finally do the right thing by its customers and pay the compensation owed."