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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?

Malcolm Carr says:
19 September 2017

Despite the calls for a boycott people will still vote with their wallet not their feet. Even with their add-ons RyanAir have usually had the cheapest fares and/or the most convenient flights to where I have wanted to go so despite this fiasco as long as that remains the case I will continue to fly with them.

Most people will act in their own interests. If Ryanair offered less than their competitors then i guess many would not book with them. It wouldn’t need a boycott to damage their business. But while they do offer what most people want they’ll retain custom.

Individual consumers can vote with their feet. A boycott needs mass abstention and I don’t see how that would be achieved. It implies persuading people to take action when they may well not have otherwise done so.

Roger Orpwood says:
20 September 2017

I don’t think this is just a recent problem for Ryanair. Back in April I had booked 12 flights with them for various members of my family to get to Copenhagen. Every one was changed, some by over 12 hours, one to a different airport! No reason was given.

Unfortunately Ryanair is the only airline to fly to Tours, where my daughter lives, so I don’t really have an alternative, apart from expensive Eurostar. My flight was cancelled with only 3 days notice. so I am due for compensation. The 2 forms I used, for ticket refund and compensation, had glitches and I had to use livechat and two phone calls, and several hours of my time. I await the results. I haven’t had a problem with Ryanair in the past, but am very disappointed now.

2 of us were due to fly out to Carcassonne on 23rd & return on 30th September. The outbound flight is on the cancellation list but not the return. Ryanair cancelled the whole reservation with the option to rebook or a refund. As this was a week’s holiday with no alternative flight until Wednesday I asked for a refund and compensation via the online forms. As the return flight is still operating it will be interesting to see whether compensation covers both legs. Anyone any knowledge? I haven’t received any reply yet from Ryanair.

Existing compensation arrangements are seriously flawed. On the basis of contract, the failure of any airline to deliver due to failures of its own resources should require extensive payments to include, accommodation, meals, alternative flights or travel arrangements by other airlines/resources to reduce customer costs and inconveniences arising due to delay or cancellation to nil. The Ryanair example is a very shabby business and should be punished accordingly.

Ryanair is making a fortune rebooking these flights! Foreign press is that all over front pages this morning in Europe except in the UK. I myself was charged £110 to rebook a flight THEY cancelled. How is this company not being investigated by the authorities??? A disgrace. The CEO should be in jail. I am still waiting for a compensation for a delayed flight in May…2016!!! more than a year as passed and I have not seen a penny from Ryanair

Ryan Air should have its licence to operate an airline revoked. It clearly is not competent to fulfil its legal obligations to provide passengers with the air transport they purchased. If the flights were not advertised and listed as available in the first place passengers would have booked with another competent airline and not found themselves in this distressing situation.

Whenever I have seen the Ryanair boss on interviews on TV usually making excuses for the shortcomings of his airline or giving absurd reasons why the are imposing or increasing charges for the facilities they provide for passengers he has appeared to me to be a smooth talking spiv.

Flew Ryan once; once too many.

I know it will not happen as everyone thinks with there pockets. Every one should stop using Ryanair, this would be the best message to say we will not except such treatment from you.

To those on here wishing Ryanair to go out of business do you realise that you’re hoping that 13,000 people will lose their jobs including thousands of us Brits. Did you also wish for BA to go out of business when they recently disrupted millions of their passengers? Their CEO didn’t put in any public appearance. At least, O’Leary had the courage to come out himself to face the music all on his own and took the blame personally.

Sure, this is a debacle of their own making and it is your choice whether to fly with them or not but be careful what you wish for. You should also not forget that without Ryanair (or Easyjet) most ordinary people could not afford to fly regularly, if at all. Most of you are probably too young to remember what it was like before.

That’s a bit dramatic, Ian. All that is needed is for the company to offer decent customer service. Perhaps it is time to think about the environmental damage caused by air travel and cut back on it.

This comment was removed at the request of the user

Hmmm…only appears in Russia Today, Duncan. I make it a policy to treat solitary reports with immense scepticism.

This comment was removed at the request of the user

On that we must disagree, Duncan. Bad media exist all around the world, as do good. The story might be true or it might not. A;; I”m saying is that I was trained never to take only one source for anything as gospel.

O’Leary and Ryanair – once again bringing the airline industry into disrepute!

I got stuck in Nice for two extra days. No help from Ryanair their systems mst have been totally overloaded, phone, email and website. In the end we bought two new tickets on Ryanair, which were considerable moe expensive than the cancelled ticket bought in February. We might get our money back.
But, despite all this and other illogical management decisions, we’ll fly Ryanair again if only because of price and their normally high reliability. But, given a similar offer from a competitor?

The CEO has shown nothing more than contemt for his pilots or his passengers.

Ryanair should be compelled to offer passengers flights on other airlines or an automatic refund. A Ticket should be a Contract enforceable in Law.

Can anyone tell me if it is ‘safe’ to book an advertised flight from today or not??

This is just common practice with Ryanair. About ten years ago, I arrived at Stansted to find that my flight home had been arbitrarily cancelled. They told me that I could be booked on to the next flight but I had to pay again and to add insult to injury, pay the full price! No compensation nothing. Just tough luck. I have never flown with them again since then.

Ryanair’s behaviour is appalling. But it is far more important to challenge the culture of flying at source. Flying is causing unacceptable pollution and contributing to climate change. We need to impose proper tax on aviation fuel, and subsidise surface transport – and make it cheaper to get to Europe by rail.
As with smoking, we might also ban airlines from advertising?

Ryanair are completely untrustworthy and have no regard whatever for their customers. Those who use them do so at their own peril.