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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 be the subject of a “Class Action” in court.

Lets hope they go out of Business, they must be the worst Business on the planet. Maybe O’Leary should put himself in his customers shoes a few times instead of spending his time hiding and racing his horses

I agree entirely, if he thinks he is not paid enough for what he does he needs to look at his business from the consumer end., most think he is overpaid. I flew with Ryanair twice a number of years ago and both flights were a shambles apart from the cost of taking the flight. Budget airline my foot, when I added all the extras that most flights include, I could have got it cheaper with British Airways. If he can’t sort his staff holidays out then he needs to dig deep to find cover.

Let market forces drive their business and all other service providing business. If any business’ reputation is poor then people will not use them.
Just because you are upset does not mean that you are entitled to compensation; it just means that you are entitled to be upset.
The litigation society that is becoming more prevalent in the western world will prove to be the downfall of its civilisation.
I do not condone what Ryanair have done when cancelling so many flights but having run a service company, that required similar scheduling skills as Ryanair, where the customer satisfaction rating was consistently >97% does not mean that I never made a mistake. It means I worked with every individual who was unhappy and resolved the situation to their satisfaction. In 4 years I only refunded less than 30 people.
People need to accept the disappointments in life without attributing a financial value to them.

I totally agree that this company should go out of business. Is O’Leary still in favour of the EU in view of the EU’s desire for him to pay compensation for a shoddy service.?

Ryanair said only this morning that they’ll be offering compensation as due to all who aren’t able to rearrange flights with them

Kevinwales says:
19 September 2017

Chemtrail from jet airliners are poisoning us with the most awful toxic mixes you can imagine. I wouldn’t care if every airline in the world went out of business.

Barry Allan says:
19 September 2017

I agree with most of those sentiments. However, I have had two run in’s with Mike O’Leary in the past, one of which was quite a serious safety/operational issue which went onto to be dealt with by the CAA. This was not a claim for any compensation but was to make the CEO of Ryanair, understand how his arrogance, which he is full of (others may call it something else), should not be directed at his customers as he so often has done in the past. On the other hand, I have a great deal of sympathy with the Ryanair passengers who have spent their hard earned cash to fly with them only then to be disappointed and let down to say nothing of being hundreds of pounds out of pocket due the their leaders mismanagement. Why do you think over 140 skilled piolets let Ryanair to go to Norwegain last autumn. Ask Mike O’Leary. It wasn’t to see the fiords !

It’s not enough to be given a refund as booking a replacement flight at the last minute is usually much more expensive than the original flight. Ryanair should be responsible for the full cost of getting the passengers back to their destination.
Over the we booked a holiday, but we immediately discounted flights with Ryanair

I think you should also look at the first press release that Ryanair issued about cancelling the flights – it was more to do with getting back their 90% on-time record which had slipped down to 80% for the part of September. Such a drop would look incredibly bad on their shareholders’ reports – it would also negatively affect inward investment. The not having enough pilots was a smokescreen issued by Ryanair themselves to deflect away from other issues of poor management. The airline management have a very dim view of ‘the glorified taxi drivers’ as Michael O’dreary once referred to his pilots, so goodwill between them is, shall we say politely – non-exsistant.

Airlines should have a better duty of care to passengers that have been inconvenienced, I personally believe that the 15-day time limit for compensation should be extended to 30 days, but with every increase in the amount of compensation airlines have to pay to some passengers comes an increase in the amount of money ALL passengers have to pay in terms of fares and fees.

David Tucker says:
19 September 2017

RyanAir should be duty bound to get people to their destinations if the cancel flights through their own incompetence. I never fly RyanAir if there is any alternative. Let’s hope this fiasco does them so much repetitional damage they go out of business.

Received email late last night saying return flight from Sofia to London cancelled on 14 October (although outward flight still scheduled). Invited to click on link to rebook but this took me to a page which said “Closed for routine maintenance”! Live chat not working, phone lines saying they can’t take calls and then hanging up etc etc. Managed to change flight to one earlier (not really ideal but not much choice) but website won’t transfer over my prepaid seat and wants me to pay again for it. These people are unbelievable.

We had our flight delayed by more than four hours back in April, submitted the delayed flight compensation form and despite constant requests for an update on our claim, all we get is an automated response saying we’ll hear from them within 7 days.
When logging in with our reference number, the status is displayed as Disgusting customer service from Ryanair and we would never recommend this service to anyone

Although a regular satisfied customer of Ryanair over many years I have become deeply annoyed on recent flights with their new unnecessary policy of deliberately seating families apart unless they book their seats in advance in their greedy bid to extract more money from passengers.
Now with the recent flight cancellation scandal, does good customer relations not count with this airline anymore?
If not their loyal customer base and profitability as a company will very soon take a nosedive.

We landed in Frankfurt Thursday night, 11pm, to an email saying our flight on the Saturday back to Glasgow had been cancelled.

After numerous unhelpful calls to Ryanair telling us we couldn’t fly until Monday we eventually called out travel insurance and asked about booking with an alternative company. We eventually got booked with BA at a cost of over £900.

I think a few things need to happen.

1. Compensation claim forms should be administered automatically by the airline without customers having to “apply” for it to initiate a claim.

2. The airline should pay for alternative flights even if it’s with another airline and payment should be made as soon as possible after confirmation of affect in order that insurance companies aren’t footing a bill and customers aren’t having to pay excesses. The same goes for hotel and substinance costs, they should be available right away, people don’t always have the funds to spend initially.

3. Alternative airlines should not be allowed to price hike on a quoted price. My original quote from BA jumped up by nearly £300 in the time it took me to enter my details into the booking page.

I shall never fly with Ryanair again. This is the final straw. Michael O’Leary seems to have only contempt for his customers going back years. He is a loathsome character.

They have the worst reputation of any Airline I know,
They continuously change their add on prices to suit them.
They are also the only airline to fly certain to airports, which makes them convenient.
I came back last night from Plovdiv Bulgaria, the flight was absolutely full and the service on the aircraft was not the best.
The people leaving the aircraft were acting more like animals than human beings.

It is absolutely scandalous that an airline can treat its customers this way by cancelling flights, leaving people stranded and out of pocket, and generally inconvenienced without any real attempt to remedy the situation that would actually cost THEM money. So often, the real frustration for customers when companies have messed up is the lack of empathetic communication from the company concerned, in this case Ryan Air. I remain astounded that, after so many such scenarios over the years, such basic PR strategies are not forthcoming. The ONLY way companies like Ryan Air will listen is if they are hit in the pocket, with consumers selecting other aircraft carriers that fly the same route or if they actually do have to fly Ryan Air to get to where they have to go, not to use them for car rentals and hotel bookings at the destination point. ONLY consumer power will win the day.

Hopefully Ryanair should go out of business.No persons in their right mind book with this company. O’Leary is not fit to run any business,he should be made to pay ALL compensation out of his own pocket, then made bankrupt

Michelle says:
19 September 2017

My friend and I were due to fly home from Faro to East Midlands on 12/9/17. Our taxi to the airport was due to pick us from our hotel at 16.30 and at 14.10 I received a text from Ryanair informing me our flight had been cancelled. Unsure what to do, as we couldn’t get through to Ryanair Customer Services we continued to the airport and were met by a huge queue of other passengers waiting at Ryanair’s customer service desk. (4 cancelled fights in total) We were met by a Ryanair rep who was handing out a sheet stating our rights and they explained they were trying to get us all new flights and to stay in the queue. We stood in the queue for 6 hours, with no offer of refreshments or any further information was provided despite several people asking for updates. No one told us why our flights were cancelled.
We were eventually given new flights for 2 days later but going via another airport before arriving at East Midlands.
We were assured Ryanair would cover the cost of further accommodation but told to keep receipts for meals etc and we would have to pay our own transfer costs to get back to the airport, to claim everything back when home.

We were bused to a new hotel and arrived at approx. midnight – the hotel staff were not happy as they weren’t expecting us! Eventually we got a room but were unable to buy any food as they did not have the staff to cope – the hotel, whilst very nice, was in the middle of nowhere so we could not go else where, not even a shop.
The next day we enjoyed a day by the pool only to find we had been locked out of our room as we needed to pay for the second night. Ryanair only pay for the 1st night apparently (I did ask the question at the airport and was told they would pay for both nights as it was not our choice to be there 2 nights) I tried to call Ryanair and speak to lady, I said we were told they would cover all the accommodation costs and we didn’t have the money to pay. She said well you will have to find it and put the phone down on me! We had no option but to pay a further 224 euros to get in the room.
We flew home via Knock only to find we had to pay another10 euros each to go through the airport and then weren’t allowed in the departure lounge as we were to early (4 hours till flight home)! I spoke to the lady at the Ryanair helpdesk to see if she could help and she said she wasn’t aware that any flights had been cancelled that week!? She asked me why was our flight cancelled! She did get in the departure lounge though but we then had a 1 hour delay added to our flight.
Ryanair customer service is shocking and they do not appear to care at all about the stress and upset they cause. I accept things happen that are out of their control but they need to be upfront with information and not fob people off with incorrect information just to get rid of us!
I have submitted a claim for expenses incurred and compensation for loss of 2 days earnings and the stress of it all, so I await the outcome!

Chris Austen says:
19 September 2017

For far too long, Ryanair has taken a cavalier attitude towards its customers. For example, it claims to be a low-cost operator but it charges for so-called upgrades which are included by other budget airlines. And its Chief Executive, Michael O’Leary, is such an unpleasant, arrogant and patronising individual; he really should not be running any customer-facing business. On the basis of this latest debacle, he should do the decent thing and resign

totally disgusting alternative flights should be put into place if you cant run a business efficiantly dont run one at all

Ryanair, like any other airline should be capable of planning sufficient flight and cabin crew to meet the schedule it has planned. To not do so shows a fundamental lack of organisation skills as well as lack of respect for its customers. One questions it’s right to CAA licences and to carry passengers on schedule services. Customers should have full rights for compensation for cancellation of flights and any inconvenience caused.

Kathleen Gilding says:
19 September 2017

Because of their poor reputation for customer service I have never travelled with Ryanair.

I agree with Kathleen, Have never travelled Ryanair because of their reputation. Basically if you fly with them you have to be prepared for the results of the way they operate. I have to admit I am surprised they do so well and attract so much business. No competition presumably and you do end up in some odd places!

We had a flight back from Tallinn on Friday 15th at 12 pm. All packed and ready we got a text (6.30am in the morning) they had cancelled the flight. We had transport booked for the airport at 8.45am, and we decided to go and sort things out. Arrived at airport, and no Ryanair contact or rep anywhere. The bookings desk kindly phoned someone from the airline, and they were about as much use as severe diarrhoea. Told to either get a refund or put on another flight.
Fine we will have another flight…Great, they said…in 5 days time!!!!. Where the hell are we supposed to stay for that length of time ?. Our hotel we left was full anyway, and my wife is on medication for Diabetes. While we had extra drugs, we did not have sufficient for 5 days. We needed to get back to the UK and managed to book a flight with SAS to London Heathrow that morning. The problem was our car was at Stanstead where Ryanair should have flown us. We had a 5-hour wait in Stockholm on top, and it cost us over 900 Euro’s !

Add to that a £56 coach transfer for the both of us, getting to Stanstead at 9 pm at night. I faced a 250-mile car journey back up north, and it was just not safe, so it cost us another £140 for a hotel room and the cost of a meal. Total disgrace. I have put in a claim for compensation and the flight costs, but I don’t hold a lot of hope with these shysters…I can see ourselves taking them to court if they don’t play fair with this

If I was a Ryanair shareholder, I’d be fuming ! I doubt if O’leary will have a job by the end of the week !