/ Travel & Leisure

Update: Ryanair cancels Christmas for its winter fliers

Ryanair Cancellations

Merry O’Dreary Christmas! Ryanair’s latest batch of cancellations is set to affect another 400,000 passengers over the winter. Would an apologetic 40 euro voucher from Michael O’Leary be enough to put him back on your nice list?

Ryanair has announced the suspension of 34 routes between November and March, including some of its busiest flights between London and Edinburgh. In total, this brings the number of passengers affected by the Ryanair cancellations to three-quarters of a million.

After events last week, we don’t need to tell you that this situation is a complete shambles. As well as ruining the travel plans of hundreds of thousands of passengers, the offer of a 40 euro voucher from the airline will prove an empty gesture if Ryanair customers can’t book the flight they want. Some passengers will have been planning to travel over the festive period, so for them, Ryanair has effectively cancelled Christmas.

Our Christmas wish to Ryanair

Before today’s cancellations were announced, we wrote a letter to Ryanair boss, Michael O’Leary, condemning his handling of the situation before its most recent announcement. In it, our CEO, Peter Vicary-Smith, said:

‘Ryanair passengers have had their holiday plans ruined or have been left stranded abroad with little or no support. Many more Ryanair passengers will still be concerned about whether they will be able to travel over the coming weeks. On top of these issues, Which? has serious concerns about the way that these cancellations have been handled with people left out of pocket due to additional expenses and facing a difficult process to claim compensation. We now urge you to swiftly set out plans to correct the failings in your handling of the situation to date.’

Unfortunately, after today’s news, any fears Ryanair passengers may have had about future flight cancellations have been realised.

Flying high at the top of the naughty list

One such passenger is our colleague Yvette:

‘I booked a trip to Bucharest earlier this month, looking forward to seeing Christmas markets in a new city. Unfortunately, that was cancelled today despite it not being an affected route mentioned by Ryanair. I’m also lacking a voucher that Ryanair seems to be giving out to other customers.

‘I was already irritated by Ryanair’s first round of cancellations which affected another trip of mine (to Milan) and I’m annoyed to be affected again. I haven’t decided what to do about my trip – I’m not sure that it’s worth going at all with the new flight times on offer.

‘I’ll probably book my outbound flight with another airline but am nervous Ryanair could cancel my return journey. Luckily I haven’t paid for accommodation yet, so I won’t need to claim expenses.’

We’re sure there are unfortunately many more stories out there like Yvette’s. Have you had your Christmas plans shelved by Ryanair? Is Michael O’Leary on your naughty list?

Update: 28 September 2017

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has announced enforcement action against Ryanair for what it sees as persistent misleading of passengers with inaccurate information about their rights.

Earlier this week we wrote to the CAA calling for action after Ryanair said it would be cancelling 40 to 50 flights a day in September and October. The announcement of the CAA’s enforcement action followed news that Ryanair had cancelled flights for a further 400,000 people between November and March.

The CAA’s chief exec, Andrew Haines, had this to say on the action:

‘There are clear laws in place, which are intended to assist passengers in the event of a cancellation, helping minimise both the frustration and inconvenience caused by circumstances completely out of their control.

‘We have made this crystal clear to Ryanair, who are well aware of their legal obligations, which includes how and when they should reroute passengers, along with the level of information it provides its passengers.’
We’re pleased the CAA is taking this enforcement action as Ryanair has continued to flout the law and fail to properly inform people of their rights.

We want to see assurances from the CAA that their intervention will force Ryanair to immediately change its behaviour and act in accordance with the law.

Update: 29 September 2017

The CAA’s deadline for Ryanair to issue a press release and clear statement at the top of its website with updates on the actual rights of passengers has now passed. These rights include:

  • A statement that Ryanair will reroute passenger on other airlines and how passengers can do this
  • If passengers accepted a refund and re-booked, Ryanair will reimburse any difference
  • If passengers have been re-routed Ryanair should offer to change to a different airline if misinformation was given when re-routing
  • And pay costs of transfers to alternative airports and provide meals, refreshments and hotel accommodation for all passengers while waiting for a re-route

Ryanair had also been asked to take steps to assist passengers who’ve made arrangements based on misleading information and recontact these passengers to provide them with this info.

While the airline’s response, which can be found on its website, may get close to complying with the regulations it still smacks of a reluctance to do right by its customers.

The complicated four-step rerouting policy leaves passengers facing a potential difficulty get to their destination when their flight is cancelled.

The CAA must watch Ryanair like a hawk. It will need to take firm action if the airline continues to fail hundreds of thousands of passengers caught up in this mess.

Are you hopeful Ryanair will commit fully to their legal obligations?

Update: 24 October 2017

We’ve already received so many stories from our community about their experience with Ryanair since it announced its first batch of cancellations.

As Ryanair was forced to change its passenger rights advice by the aviation regulator at the end of September, we want to know if the airline is now acting in the best interests of its passengers. We’re looking to gather evidence that Ryanair might not be meeting its obligations to its customers.

This is where we need you!

Have you had a flight cancelled by Ryanair? How do you feel you were treated by the airline? Did you feel you had all the information about your rights that you needed? Have you received your compensation?

If any of these questions apply to you, please spare a moment to complete our short survey. Your time will make a huge difference to our work.

Comments

On the first day of Christmas
O’Leary sent to me:
A voucher to say he’s so sor-ee.

On the second day of Christmas
We hoped to go abroad:
Two cancelled flights
And a voucher to say he’s so sor-ee.

On the third day of Christmas
We tried another flight.
Three empty planes
Two thousand cancelled flights
And a voucher to say he’s so sor-ee.

On the fourth day of Christmas
We once again set forth.
Four phone calls,
Three empty planes,
Two thousand cancelled flights.
And a voucher to say he’s so sor-ee.

On the fifth day of Christmas
We decided to change tack and
Called Eurostar (booked up!)
Four phone calls,
Three empty planes,
Two thousand cancelled flights.
And a voucher to say he’s so sor-ee.

On the sixth day of Christmas
The airport lounge was bare
But for six cats a mewling,
Called Eurostar
Four phone calls,
Three empty planes,
Two thousand cancelled flights.
And a voucher to say he’s so sor-ee.

On the seventh day of Christmas
We looked into the docks,
Seven rats a paddling,
Six cats a-mewling,
Called Eurostar
Four phone calls,
Three empty planes,
Two thousand cancelled flights.
And a voucher to say he’s so sor-ee.

On the eighth day of Christmas
Debated Ryan-cide,
Eight bosses milking,
Seven rats a paddling,
Six cats a-mewling,
Called Eurostar
Four phone calls,
Three empty planes,
Two thousand cancelled flights.
And a voucher to say he’s so sor-ee.

On the ninth day of Christmas
We sharpened all the knives,
Nine Voodoo dolls,
Eight bosses milking,
Seven rats a paddling,
Six cats a-mewling,
Called Eurostar
Four phone calls,
Three empty planes,
Two thousand cancelled flights.
And a voucher to say he’s so sor-ee.

On the tenth day of Christmas
We’re stranded in the house,
Ten pins are stuck in
Nine Voodoo dolls of
Eight bosses milking,
Seven rats a paddling,
Six cats a-mewling,
Called Eurostar
Four phone calls,
Three empty planes,
Two thousand cancelled flights.
And a voucher to say he’s so sor-ee.

On the eleventh day of Christmas
I’d planned the perfect crime:
Eleven spells fomenting
Ten pins are stuck in
Nine Voodoo dolls of
Eight bosses milking,
Seven rats a paddling,
Six cats a-mewling,
Called Eurostar
Four phone calls,
Three empty planes,
Two thousand cancelled flights.
And a voucher to say he’s so sor-ee.

On the twelfth day of Christmas
We sent a special card
Twelve secluded hatpins,
Eleven spells fomenting,
Ten pins are stuck in
Nine Voodoo dolls of
Eight bosses milking,
Seven rats a paddling,
Six cats a-mewling,
Called Eurostar
Four phone calls,
Three empty planes,
Two thousand cancelled flights.
And an airline seat to shove inside his car.

Now that took a dark turn! Bravo Ian.

We’ve been creative too:

Ryanair

If you’re on Twitter you can share it here or Facebook

No doubt a free association and cathartic poetic exercise with adversarial undertones Ian, but worthy of a third thumbs up from me for its audaciously humorous overtones 🙂

Thank you, Beryl. Yes – it was somewhat cathartic. And 12 Days is a notoriously tricky melodic shape, with phrases barely fitting the original words, but it does offer the cunning a fair bit of wiggle room. Lines 10 and the final one in the final verse are the only lines that fit precisely.

No one man should get away with what he has its criminal let the people show him what he can do with his company don’t just remember this time he has done other things but people tend to forget the way he treated people in the past

Mary fahey says:
28 September 2017

I think he should have his assets seized and be banned from owning any company again.
His attitude is draconian arrogant and NOT required in this day and age my big sympathy is with all the workers at Ryanair he is an awful boss. Fortunately his latest actions affect the public so hopefully there will be swift action against him.

“AND!” once its all over, all the lemmings will once again waddle back onto the aircraft dossing their caps to this Irish man !! WELL” ! sorry but if you use a monkey run airline then you end up with peanuts service !!, yes I feel sorry for those who have had their travel plans messed up, but if you use a no frills airline, don”t expect to have any form of reliable service !!

[Sorry, your comment has been edited to align with our community guidelines https://conversation.which.co.uk/commenting-guidelines/. Thanks, mods.]

Perhaps other airlines have seats that Ryanair passengers can buy instead? Or use the train in the UK? It would be useful if, as well as condemning Ryanair, some positive and alternative suggestions were given to those affected to restore their travel plans.

O’Leary once again ?O’ no O’ hell for all concerned once again Does he ever do the right thing ?’

Barr Allan says:
28 September 2017

No he doesn’t..
No he never has…
No he never will…
We haveall used Ryanair because they are cheap!
No they are no they not.
They are very expensive..
Check them out and then boycott and use another professional airline.

[Sorry, your comment has been edited to align with our Community Guidelines https://conversation.which.co.uk/commenting-guidelines/. Thanks, mods.]

riad el taher says:
28 September 2017

less flight the better for the inviroment .tourism penfiting few and destroying culture .and forcing poor people away from sustained economy

If that is the case the people that use this company boycott next year if no one uses it I feel sure that it would bring him to his knees, I seem to remember he has treated him like people like this who in the past I look upon it as a gift horse as there are other air line companies, the man isn’t a man he is a bully, I say people have a short memory and when they want to spend there hard earned money they should think before the fly with this company you all no what to do go else were

If everyone boycotts Ryan Air yes it may affect O’Leary’s pocket, but having read about this character, he will sack staff without compensation, close offices and sell aircraft, line his pockets with any money he can recover most probably doing a runner to avoid any legal action.

[The views expressed here and not those shared by Which? Thanks, mods.]

We last used Ryanair eight years ago and said that’s it. Why they are thought of as ‘budget’ who knows?
When you add up all the ‘add ons’ they can be more expensive than BA.
Also got fed up travelling “cattle class”, would sooner use any other airline.

Sheila says:
28 September 2017

We have not flown with Ryanair since 2008 when we were left stranded in the Canary Isles, (the Icelandic ash cloud debacle), we had no credit card just a bank card, and no way of getting back to the UK. We had arranged a quickie holiday ourselves with no company and were left stranded at the airport with no assistance from Ryanair staff just told to go and find accommodation, we were not told about saving receipts or any information about re-imbursement, Michael O’ leary came on the tv news and said it’s not my bloody fault, very helpful. Luckily I had an understanding boss who told me to wait until we could get our return flight back to Bournemouth which we did. It cost us over a thousand pounds to stay the week as all the prices went up hotels, taxis etc. Plus my Husband who is self employed lost a weeks wages. We returned to the airport for the first three days and were then informed to keep[ receipts etc. When I tried to get reimbursement I along with thousands had great difficulty, as Ryanair changed telephone numbers, email addresses daily and it was impossible to get a claims form. I persevered for nine months and eventually got about a third of the money back, I was determined not to let O’Leary beat us but I know most people just gave up, that is why we will never fly with them again.

just seen a TV advert so it is game over! Just where can Mr O’Leary use those PR and organisational skills? Doctors receptionist, Labour Chancellor. of the Exchequer. In the former he would do a lot less damage than the latter.

Have never liked this company’s ways and would never use them.

Phillip says:
28 September 2017

Flew with this cowboy outfit just the once – NEVER again!

Barry Allan says:
28 September 2017

Someone put a bounty on his head. There will be plenty of takers in the queue behind me!!😈

It seems that he’s attitude has always been like it or lump it! Well my attitude is to take my business elsewhere.

In general Ryanair do a great job; it’s amazing to me that they can offer the low cost flights they offer. I’m lucky and have never had a problem flying with them. Of course it’s really, really sad for those who are booked on a cancelled flight but hopefully in the long run Ryanair will be able to keep on doing the generally excellent job they do. We have to remember that you pay for what you get in this world.

O’Leary main interest is the bottom line, Ryanair has so much money it can ride roughshod over passengers short term for long term larger profits. If the airline fails Michael O’Leary has huge personnel wealth and can just walk away and spend his time on horse racing.

“Something for nothing always ending with a bad report”
( Elton John )

I have a 36 inch inside leg yet I was charged £155 for leg room. I told them where to put it. Not my fault.

Norman Thorpe says:
28 September 2017

If a company continues to break the law, as in the case of Ryanair, the chair and the chief executive should become personally liable for the illegal action, including prison.

Ryanair have been fined a couple of times already and it has not made any difference. In my opinion unless the authorities set an example of cancelling their license to fly on set 10 percent of their most profitable routes, other airlines are going to look at Ryanair and do something similar as it will see this as a cheap option. Ryanair have for years been running rings round the authorities and in general getting away with their practices.

I would suggest if all the extra charges are added up on any of Ryanair journeys, passages will have paid on average more than the average cost for a ticket on a reliable airline.

Sure the mans a greedy idiot !

Just do not use Ryanair they are cheap but added to that is cost of luggage leg room etc. Pay more for a flight with the knowledge that you will get to and from your destination with ease. If nobody flys with Ryanaire then that will be the end of future misery and hopefully the end of Ryanair.