Ryanair is cancelling thousands of flights, potentially affecting 400,000 people. Have you had your travel plans upended by the move and what do you want to see Ryanair do about it?
Ryanair passengers are reeling after the airline announced it will be cancelling 40 to 50 flights every day for the next six weeks.
The airline is putting the action down to a shortage of staff after ‘messing up’ the scheduling of holidays for its pilots.
Whatever the reason, the reality is that thousands of passengers are going to be affected by the move.
400,000 passengers affected
Ryanair has put the figure of passengers affected at 400,000. To put that into context, the number of passengers who saw their travel plans delayed or cancelled because of the British Airways IT failure in May was 75,000.
One such case is that of Nona Ahamat. Nona had her flight to Edinburgh on Friday 15 cancelled the day before she was due to fly.
‘I booked my flight a month before flying and checked-in a week beforehand.
‘On Thursday lunchtime, I received a text from Ryanair telling me my outward bound flight had been cancelled and I wasn’t given a reason as to why. This came through less than 24 hours before my flight was due to depart.
‘While the message gave no explanation, it did offer me a couple of links, one of which was to book another flight. However, all the other options were either sold out or were not landing at a convenient time. One flight that did come close involved a £100 payment in order for me to rebook. That would’ve been over three times more than the £30 I paid for my original ticket.
‘With just 24 hours to go until I was set to fly, other options for getting to Edinburgh were limited. Flights with other airlines were either sold out or expensive because of the last minute nature of my search so I reluctantly paid £100 for a train. The train took a good five or six hours when the flight would’ve been much shorter.
‘While I was in Edinburgh as well as being worried about a possible cancellation of my return journey, my friends told me I was eligible to claim for compensation so I started the process this morning.
‘Using the Which? Flight Compensation Tool I created my compensation letter to send to Ryanair but couldn’t find an email address on their website to send to it. The only way I could find to get in touch was by filling out a form. But this didn’t have the right options for my claim. I couldn’t find a ‘didn’t fly, made alternative travel arrangements’ checkbox. So, instead, I spent an hour looking for somewhere to send the Which? compensation letter before copy and pasting the message into a generic, catch-all customer services email.
‘All I want is for my claim to be processed as soon as possible and for Ryanair to account for the cancellation with compensation, especially as there was no reason for a cancellation that occurred within 24 hours of my departure time.’
What we’re asking of Ryanair
We’re calling on Ryanair to give clear information about what its passengers are entitled to. The airline must honour its legal duty to arrange alternative flights or provide full refunds immediately. We also want to see all Ryanair passengers proactively compensated and reimbursed for any reasonable out of pocket expenses. The airline will know who the affected passengers are and so should pay them what they are owed automatically.
Have you had your holiday or business plans grounded by Ryanair? What do you want to see Ryanair do about it? Are you worried a flight you booked in good faith between now and the end of October will be cancelled?
Update: 20 September 2017
Ryanair passengers affected by the airline’s decision to cancel up to 50 flights a day for the next six weeks have begun experiencing issues when attempting to rebook flights.
Some of those who had their flights cancelled are reporting that they’ve had to pay a second time for choosing a seat and having hold luggage. Those offered a ‘free’ replacement flight were not necessarily refunded for extra charges on their original booking, meaning they then had to pay twice.
Some people have been reporting that unless they paid these fees a second time the online booking system would not allow them to re-book. Ryanair has said it is aware of the issue and that those who have had to fork out twice will be refunded.
We think it’s an outrage that people are being charged a second time and are calling on Ryanair to swiftly refund those passengers it has failed. In most cases, these customers have suffered huge inconveniences, with disrupted holidays and business trips.
Ryanair must guarantee that affected passengers are re-booked, fully refunded and automatically compensated without the onus being on them to jump through hoops to make a claim.
How do you think Ryanair is coping after its cancellations announcement?
The airline could be doing a lot more to help passengers (93%, 456 Votes)
There's definite room for improvement (5%, 26 Votes)
It's doing as well as can be expected under the circumstances (2%, 9 Votes)
Total Voters: 491
Is it acceptable for Ryanair to be charging its customers twice? Have you experienced this?
Update: 21 September 2017
Ryanair has come under fire again following their decision to cancel over 2,000 flights in September and October, this time regarding the compensation email it has sent out to affected passengers.
The email sent those who had their flights cancelled, falls woefully short in informing passengers about the compensation they may be due. The airline is required, by law, to outline the compensation and assistance rules when a flight is cancelled, something that, in our view, it has fallen way short of doing in this instance. Ryanair has failed even to use the word compensation on the face of the email.
This is yet another insult to thousands of customers who have already had their holidays and business trips ruined by the cancellations. We’re asking the airline to automatically compensate those eligible passengers without them having to go through the additional rigmarole of making a claim.
Update: 22 September 2017
We’ve launched brand new consumer rights information, including a free a flight checker tool, to help inform Ryanair’s failed customers following its announcement to cancel up to 50 flights a day over September and October.
The new consumer rights guide lets you search your flight number so you can find out if you’ve been affected by the chaos and lets you know how you can go about claiming compensation or rearranging your flight.
In addition to these, we decided to broaden the reach of our work putting pressure on Ryanair by creating something we’re never done before. Those eagle-eyed followers of Which? on Facebook will have seen a message from us pop up when they visit our page.
This is a new chatbot that you can use to check the status of your flight, visit the consumer rights information, and sign our petition.
Check whether your flight has been affected and how to claim compensation but clicking below.