/ 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?

Val Dunne says:
4 October 2017

I have completed the farce of an application form to get compensation and claim my money back for another flight but there is no way attachments can be sent and they say they will not pay without receipted invoices.
Any ideas?

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As Which? claims that for some Christmas has been cancelled by Ryanair I wonder about hyperbole and why it is 10000% wrong.

27 September 2017
Alex Neill, Managing Director of Which? Home and Product Services, said:
“This situation is a complete and utter shambles that now extends to up to nearly three quarters of a million people. The news means that for some of its passengers Ryanair has effectively cancelled Christmas.”

Ryanair has revealed the list of 34 routes that will be suspended this winter.
They are:
Bucharest – Palermo
Chania – Athens
Chania – Pafos
Chania – Thessaloniki
Cologne – Berlin (SXF)
Edinburgh – Szczecin
Glasgow – Las Palmas
Hamburg – Edinburgh
Hamburg – Katowice
Hamburg – Oslo (TRF)
Hamburg – Thessaloniki
Hamburg – Venice (TSF)
London Gatwick – Belfast
London Stansted – Edinburgh
London Stansted – Glasgow
Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Venice will have fewer Ryanair flights
Newcastle – Faro
Newcastle – Gdansk
Sofia – Castellon
Sofia – Memmingen
Sofia – Pisa
Sofia – Stockholm (NYO)
Sofia – Venice (TSF)
Thessaloniki – Bratislava
Thessaloniki – Paris BVA
Thessaloniki – Warsaw (WMI)
Trapani – Baden Baden
Trapani – Frankfurt (HHN)
Trapani – Genoa
Trapani – Krakow
Trapani – Parma
Trapani – Rome FIU
Trapani – Trieste
Wroclaw – Warsaw
Gdansk – Warsaw

I also wondered what the Press Office had said this year about the leasehold scandal which is currently ruining people’s lives.

Search Results for: Leasehold
February 2017
Could you afford Sherlock’s Baker Street flat or Dot Cotton’s house in EastEnders?
3 February 2017
Fancy living like a true EastEnder and taking up residence in Albert Square? Ever dreamt of solving crime from Sherlock Holmes’ iconic home on Baker Street? Think you could pay the mortgage on Mark’s flat in Peep Show? Find out if you could afford them with new research from Which? Mortgage Advisers. Which? Mortgage Advisers […]
Press Release: David Blake, Downton Abbey, Eastenders, Fictional Homes, Peep Show, Sherlock, Sherlock Holmes, The Crown, Which?, Which? Mortgage Advisers

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The problem has been blamed on rostering, but seems to have been caused by a lack of pilots, many leaving, and the remainder with leave to take.

As far as Scotland is concerned, let the train take the strain.

Is Ryanair needed ? Could Britain and Europe manage without it ? you might have to pay a little more but probably get better service Does price mean everything to everyone ?

well maybe not everyone can afford to fly with more expensive airlines???

What is the point of Aviation Compensation rules when Ryanair clearly think that they don’t apply to them? We were left stranded in Bratislava for an extra 2 days and had to fly back from Austria at great expense. Ryanair are digging their heels in by stating that they don’t pay for flights on another airline and they don’t pay for accommodation in anything higher than a 3*. The fight continues. Very stressful and frustrating.

Easy answer! Do not book with Ryanair!……….they do not deserve to stay in business!

My daughter myself and 6 friends missed our return flight from Barcelona after a Hen weekend along with 70+ other people – the reason Bering there were no Ryanair staff available to direct and sort out the huge amount of people who were trying to board flights – the atmosphere turned quite nasty and some people were being quit aggressive- we went to Customer Service Desk along with all the others whod missed the flight – after waiting almost 3hours with Ryanair doing nothing whatsoever to help anyone we were forced to buy 8 flights to Gatwick at £225 each and then hire 2, cars at £37 each to get us back home to West Midlands – we ended up being 8 hours late getting home (early hours of morning) we all had work next day so it was extremely stressing and upsetting – So far Ryanair has said they would look into it – still waiting

This comment was removed at the request of the user

90% owned by Greybull Capital (a family investment business) and 10% by the pension fund. It was sold out by Globus (Mantegazza) in 2014.

This comment was removed at the request of the user

Perhaps the CAA should require Ryanair to use Monarch’s staff and aircraft to help restore some of their ex-clients’ travel plans. Only 35 planes but they at least have pilots.

Excellent suggestion malcolm.

cancelled flights on myself and family and crushed Christmas….. Bad enough, but mr oleary please why is it so hard to get through – sort this out before it all crashes round your feet !!!!
I have not received any information on how to process alternative flights or refund, seriously hacked off


Nice to know that RyanAir pilots are forced , if they wish to be employed, to open Irish companies for their pay. They then fall foul of their country of residence tax rules and live in fear. Always good to know your pilot has a major concern preying on his mind. And of course with no sick pay very likely to be flying when perhaps they should not.

Still like Uber it is cheap.

I lived in Dublin from 1964 – 1966 (I was over there when Nelsons Column was blown up in O’Connell Street), and where my daughter was born and was very happy there. I had a friend and neighbour opposite, whose husband was an Air Lingus pilot whom she saw very little of as most of his days off were spent in the local tavern!

My husband & I had our flight cancelled from Newquay to Faro on the 10th October 17. We had a text while we were driving to the airport to say our flight had been cancelled, this was only 3hrs notice. Newquay only has two flights a week to Faro, they suggested to book for the Friday13th but by the time we got home to book on line , all the seats were fully booked as was the following Tuesday. We had two weeks booked in an apartment in Carvoeiro Portugal. it We are retired people & it has been such a stressful time. We would like Ryanair to compensate for our flights, our apartment that we had booked for 2 weeks, our travel insurance & transfers from Faro airport

Hi Mrs Straffon, I’m so sorry to hear this. Were you able to cancel your apartment without charge? Or find flights from another airport? Please have a look at our flight cancellation advice and once you’ve read up on your rights I recommend you get in touch with Ryanair as soon as possible.


I hope this helps 🙂

made a claim for my cancelled flights on the 24th of September, have followed up three times through web chat, was initially advised that I had to wait up to 15 working days for a reply, have had no response at all not even a customer complaint reference number, should I submit another claim ?

Hi George, Ryanair were estimating 21 days to process claims but you’re past that period now. I would suggest getting in touch with Ryanair to see what stage your claim is at. If you’re not getting anywhere with their web chat it may be worth giving them a call and request a complaint reference number as well.

Thanks, the agent said its being processed but to file it again as it may speed things up! she couldn’t give me any information, I will wait until early next week and refile, its 21 working days today.

I hope you get it all sorted, George. Feel free to get back to us if you need any further advice. We’ve also got another conversation about Ryanair which you might be interested in. https://conversation.which.co.uk/travel-leisure/ryanair-cancels-christmas/

Was about to launch a second claim when I decided to look at my online credit card statement and three days a go a credit was received from Ryanair giving me the EU compensation, which more than covers my costs

Apologies and Travel Vouchers.
These served the purpose of showing us that our submitted claims had been received by Ryanair. Beyond that they were in my view a Public Relations exercise. The associated ‘Terms and Conditions’ were limiting and I am curious to learn how many customers redeemed these vouchers.

PJR says:
29 April 2020

Ryanair asked me to accept the voucher for a second time. Legally where do I stand if I click this link which is very easy to do because the hyperlink isnt even in english they have just put the URL.

Looking at the link you’ve shared PJR it doesn’t appear to be valid (NB, we’ve removed it from public view just in case it works, and therefore allows people to modify your booking). We’re covering the story with Ryanair and what your options are on getting a refund here: https://www.which.co.uk/news/2020/04/ryanair-angers-passengers-with-vouchers-instead-of-refunds-for-cancelled-flights/