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Update: Ryanair cancellations – have you been grounded?

Ryanair Cancellations

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

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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.

Ryanair flight rights?


Ryanair should immediately repay fare to many passenger and compensation be within three months for the disturbance to passengers and because it planned these cancellations and not due to unforeseen compensation should be personalised – cost of any plans that aborted by their actions, e.g., a job lost because interview missed, holiday hotel costs, ……

Another airline being run by a spiv. Who has lined his pockets by nefarious means at the expense of his hardworking employees and gullible customers. What will be his next move to cease trading and go into liquidation. We all know he is a Remoaning advocate.

Ryanair are truly an appalling company, within a few hours of landing in Prague text to say return flight cancelled. They made no alternative arrangements, no contact numbers or live chat worked. Spent all our weekend break trying to sort flights back home.
Cannot get a refund as the link in email not working! How do we get money back and extra expenses back?

Ryanair has poor customer service anyway. Would not choose to fly with them unless really had to. Had bad experience in the past.

Brian Hicks says:
19 September 2017

Those who chose to go for cheapness rather than quality only get what they are prepared to pay. Cheap flights means cheap attitudes and cheap organisational skills which is what has happened here. Yes they are covered by the authorities for safety standards and for crew standards etc but cheap flights have to save money someway so don’t expect perfect service every time.I have no sympathy nor with those caught up in the Caribbean who book holidays in the Hurricane and Tornado Season. Sorry, bad decision making on both accounts.

Ryanair has posted record profits this year. They’ve overexpanded and became overstretched to achieve that, at the expense of the customer. This is what had previously happened to another low-cost airline, Wizzair. They reigned in their ambitions and have become a decent company. With Ryanair it’s all greed and arrogance.

Rynair readily confess that they “messed up” so it is for them to sort it out and compensate those affected…Rynair know who they are and should not ask people to submit claims they should accept their duty to compensate

Chris McDonagh says:
19 September 2017

I have a Ryanair flight booked for Wednesday 11th October, and have a connecting flight in Dublin the same day. I now know that the flight has not been cancelled, but because of Ryanair’s incompetence in not releasing the full list of cancelled flights soon enough, I felt that I needed to book a flight with Aer Lingus as well to avoid missing my connecting flight , which cost me £70. Of course the contemptuous O’Leary wouldn’t see that as being a large amount of money with the obscene size of his income, but for ordinary people like myself that leaves a big hole in the pocket. I used to be a regular customer of Ryanair , and for the small cost of flights which enabled me to visit family in Ireland at least 4 times a year , I don’t expect the best service in the world , but this total disregard for customers is unforgiveable and I won’t be travelling with them again unless there is an emergency and I have no other choice.

Carol Ward says:
19 September 2017

Cheap flights are expensive on the environment as flying causes the most pollution.

Pete Collyer in Poland says:
19 September 2017

Ryanair have not messed up holidays for pilots. A rival company has poached 150 pilots offering better pay and conditions#I would rather walk than fly walk Ryanair

My daughter & husband was caught up in Ryanair’s cancellation last week flying from Mercia, Spain. They have been promised full refund on expenditure for 2 days by saving all receipts, this they have done & posted to Ryanair. My worry is, will they get the refund? and how long will this take?

Norman McAllister says:
19 September 2017

Ryanair must get people on other airlines flights not just their own. This fiasco again proves Ryanair are not fit for purpose and their licence should be withdraw n.

Ian Munro says:
19 September 2017

Hey folks, this is Ryanair, the same company who abandoned my wife and I in Marseilles some years ago. They could only be contacted by fax in Dublin and eventually told us that they’d fight our compensation claim all the way to the highest courts in Europe. Nice people. Is anyone really surprised by what they have done on this occasion? Don’t give this disrespectful company your business.

Just WHY anybody travels with this rip off company is a puzzle – use another airline for crying out loud – what is the matter with you ? ALL of you have heard the stories that have been going on for many years now.

The people of the UK voted for Brexit and can’t help but feel that this sort of thing is the result so lets rejoin the EU to put Ryanair out of its misery…meanwhile there should be no raised compensation as Ryanair needs all the help it can get….

My wife’s Ryanair flight out of Copenhagen was delayed for 8 hours and 17 minutes. The best they were offered was to show their boarding cards at specific shops to get a six Euro discount. Only on arrival at Luton when we met some of the cabin crew, did we find out the reason apparently was that the original aircraft, PLUS two standby aircraft at Luton were faulty.
Dan DAir did refund the fare, but no compensation for food.
We will NEVER EVER fly with this airline again.

Mike Croft says:
19 September 2017

Whilst I haven’t had a flight cancelled with Ryanair, like other airlines I’m fed up with them always trying to screw you for a little bit more. I would like to see the cost of the flight include the case and a seat, if you don’t want the case then be able to delete it.

Im appalled at the current situation and won’t book Ryanair again!!

We also need less hassle at the airports. We need to regulate the consumption of alcohol both before and on the flights.

Mr oleary is at his tricks again, shame on you
[Sorry, your comment has been edited to align with our community guidelines https://conversation.which.co.uk/commenting-guidelines/. Thanks, mods.]

To stop this and other airlines thinking they can do something similar in the future the answer is very simple.

The CAA or who ever is responsible for granting a license to fly various routes is cancel some of they licenses to fly to certain destinations permanently and grant them to other airlines..

Ryan air are out of their depth.

With all the flight cancellations, and perennial terrible attitude toward customers, I think it would be only appropriate to just “cancel” Ryanair. I’m sure a far better substitute could be found.

I agree wholeheartedly with what Mike has said. All airlines should be made to compensate as soon as it has happened. If your flight is cancelled then they should refund you including compensation straight away without you having to fill in documents that they can lose or try to get out of paying.