/ Travel & Leisure

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?


They will rely on the great British public winging about this online or down the pub but not actually dong anything about it…and life goes on… or you could always takethem to court.. very easy I hear…

I will certainly never book with them again.

Worzel says:
19 September 2017

Several years ago I flew by Ryanair, once, and vowed never to use Ryanair again.
I’ve stuck to my vow.
If everyone else did the same, this pirate would be forced to change his rip-off business practices, and become more customer friendly.

I made the same vow many years ago and have kept to my promise.
The sooner Ryanair is bought out by a dedicated passenger preferrer company the better. The current senior management are bullying dictators.

Shared your unfortunate experience Worzel …. seven years ago now. I too have never used them again. But … he is well-supported by both the government and people of the Rep of Ireland; mainly because they are more than willing to put up with any type of cheap/quick travel after decades of emigrant travel by ‘steerage’ in liners.

I think that they should forced out of business. They a total disgrace,

I never choose to fly RyanAir if there is any other choice. RyanAir treats every customer as a wallet to empty.
I fly frequently on WizzAir Budapest to Luton, better choice of flights and they treat you as customer and also with the option to take loads of luggage too, even took my big tool box once to do a kitchen fit in the UK.
Avoid RyanAir and they will go out of business, the choice is yours, if you want to be treated very badly fly or not fly sometimes stay with O’Leary’s mob. Take heed.

I think they should have their licence to operate from UK airports withdrawn. They are a disgrace.

As someone who knows Ryanair very well… I will try my best to explain your rights and what airline staff (like myself) can do unlike this misleading post. If your flight is cancelled, you WILL get a full refund for your fare and will be moved on to the next available company flight departing from an airport of your choice at your request( Ex. Edinburgh to Glasgow). The text/email you receive from the airline has a link to claim your refund and is not hard to follow. In some cases, the airline will even pay for hotel accommodation if there is a flight the next morning and no better ones on the same day. If the airline rep can’t find you any flight with Ryanair, they will phone the airline at your request and get authorisation to re-book you with a rival/alternative airline (easyJet…) If they have a flight to the destination. The last thing you can do is claim against the airline by requesting an EU261 form which all ryanair ticket desks stock for purposes like this. This claim is on top of your fare and is usually around £250 compensation. On a side note, I have read comments by people threatening to boycot and “hurt” Ryanair. Complete nonsense. This is an airline with over 1 billion profit per annum and has been known for way worse before this all happened. They are seasoned experts at dealing with things like this and despite the backlash just now, will come through this like they always do.. Don’tnot be fooled. Cheap prices will always win in the end. The list of proposed cancellations is also now available on the website. I wish anyone who does have a canceled flight good luck in re-arranging and as a final word of advice, be courteous to the person you speak with the best you can in the circumstances as it is not their fault. Verbal abuse is not tolerated and the person behind the desk likely does not work directly for Ryanair and is only a contracted representative. They will try their best using whatever means possible authorised by the airline to help you.

Re-booking on a flight that does minimal disruption to someones travel plans, whether on Ryanair or on another airline, was my proposal instead of simple “monetary” compensation, which cannot always repair the damage. If Ryanair are doing this effectively for the vast majority of people who require it, then they have discharged their responsibilities in my view.

@roryboland Perhaps Which? could find out whether this is what happens in practice. We always hear about the bad experiences in Convos, and rarely about the good.

Fred Bricknell says:
20 September 2017

Excellent advice asking for claim form EU261 which I would Imagine very few of us knew of it’s existence Thankyou “A” I am sure a lot of people will be very grateful for this information.

Philip James says:
19 September 2017

I stopped using Ryan Air about 4 years ago – never regreted it for one minute.
Also crossed Stansted Airport off our list of airports due to its tax on Kiss and Fly -drop off etc.
To have to pay for stopping outside Stansted airport to pick up or drop off close family who are airline passengers is a money grabbing insult.
I don’t approach the airport until I know they are waiting – so its a charge to get out of their carpark.
Its not the money but the principle which offends me !.

I do not trade with Ryanair having been let down on two occasions. The first involved 150 customers abandoned at Hamburg Lubeck and with no compensation for anyone. The second instance involved being flown to Liverpool instead of Glasgow. It took 6 months and three recorded letters to Dublin to obtain recompense. It even sat on the refund cheque for one month. He gets away with it only because he is on the Irish register.

The company appears to have got too big for it’s boots and for some considerable has forgotten what customer service means – it is only interested in profit! Perhaps this debacle will be a wake-up call and it will mend its ways?!!

Les !! “”ooooooooooooooooooohh look” ! a flying pig !

Ryanair should honour its commitment to its passengers. This latest fiasco is an absolute disgrace and goes to show what a disorganised airline it must be and it should be boycotted. There are plenty of other airlines to choose from. It should be penalised for this behaviour and made to heavily compensate the people affected. It has shown a complete lack of principles, which one can only assume extends right through the organisation.

I think this will have a n overwhelming effect on the company by people not using them in the future.The person who says that cheap prices will always win is possibly not taking into account that there are other airlines offering better prices with a better standard of service than Ryan Air, Once bitten, twice shy comes to mind.My son has had his flights to Berlin cancelled this time, having been previously been stranded at Berlin airport for 14 hours by guess who? You got it, Ryan Air

I have never flown with them and nebpber will!

It’s all a question of price versus value. They offer very cheap flights and most times it’s a bargain … a few times it’s not and yes it’s a hassle, but is it poor value? Probably not.
Not fun I grant you, but if the terms of carriage change and compensation levels increase markedly, then so will the overall price. If you don’t want an airline with cheap fares, but terrible service, then prepare instead to pay a premium to get a better experience.

That said of course, the sad thing is, that such is the consumer price pressure on the more established airlines that they too have now mostly gone done the ‘no frills’ route and so the choice of better service but at a cost is also limited.

Ultimately we get what we pay for.

I agree entirely with John Taylor. Don’t touch Ryanair with a barge pole. It must be at least 15 years since I used Ryanair but I have seen the appalling treatment of their passengers at boarding gates while waiting for other flights. I believe that such actions must be generated higher up the management tree, probably from the very top, because nobody would willingly treat the people who pay their wages this way.

Let’s make this Ryanair’s Gerald Ratners moment and teach them a lesson.

They should be forced to give up some of their routes/schedules to other airlines.

All airlines should be required by law to make automatic refunds and compensation .After all they have all the information to hand .delay time.distance etc. and not leave it to customer lottery as of now. Beats me why no goverment hasent done so .

stephen ryan says:
19 September 2017

My family and I were booked on a ryanair flight after checking in and making our way to flight departure we were told that we had taken to long to get through security and that they had off loaded our luggage they suggested we fly the next day and pay for new flights disgraceful.

You must leave sufficient time to reach the gate before it closes. Security can cause delays. Airlines cannot carry luggage unless passengers are on the flight. I sympathise with missing your flight but it seems you were to blame, not the airline. I would have thought, through negotiation, they would have discussed the charge.

One of my family members had the same problem going on holiday. Taking a little too long in the cafe they arrived at the gate 3 minutes after it had closed, and the bus to the aircraft had departed. They had to transfer to another airport and buy new tickets to get to their destination in time. They admitted it was their own fault.

Richard Gregory says:
19 September 2017

The simple way for the public to deal with this disgusting company is to just cease all trading with it. It would go bust in no time . We need to remember that this company and it’s top man – Mr Michael O’leary – have been treating the public with nothing but contempt for years- they do not deserve to remain in business.