“A mess of our own making” were the words from Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary.
The Irish airline has had a highly embarrassing week with it announcing the cancellation of hundreds of flights affecting over 300,000 customers. Mr O’Leary blamed the move on a one-off holiday pilot rostering issue which he feared could impact the airline’s punctuality rating.
Ryanair issued an apology but it has put thousands of customers in limbo concerned whether their holiday plans will be impacted. If you are one of those affected here are some helpful tips for what you can do next.
Which flights have been affected?
Earlier this week Ryanair published its full list of flights affected by the cancellations. It amounted to around 50 flights a day between September 21st and October 31st 2017. Among the airports affected were Barcelona, London Stansted, Dublin, Milan Bergamo and Porto.
A full list of Ryanair’s flight cancellations can be found here.
My flight has been cancelled, can I rearrange it?
Ryanair confirmed that customers that wish to change the date of their flights can do so without incurring an admin fee. However, this is dependent on whether there are seats available on the desired date of travel.
It is recommended that customers wishing to rearrange should do so quickly to avoid disappointment.
Can I travel to a different airport?
It is possible to alter your plans to travel to a different airport but it is slightly more complicated than changing your dates. Customers wanting to go down this route are advised to get in touch with Ryanair directly via their online chatroom or by calling the customer service contact numbers here.
Can I claim a refund?
If you decide to just bite the bullet and cancel your holiday entirely, Ryanair is offering refunds. Customers can apply for a refund on the company’s website by entering their booking details. The airline said full refunds will be issued within seven working days.
Am I entitled to compensation?
Okay, we’re entering a bit of a grey area here. You can claim compensation but only in certain circumstances. Mr O’Leary stated that Ryanair will pay out to customers that were given less than two weeks notice prior to their departure date.
Passengers can claim up to €400 (£352) under European Union law – as well as their ticket refund – if they were only given a fortnight’s notice and no other alternative was offered. They must also have been notified in writing by Ryanair.
If you have received an email from the airline and it falls within the parameters of the compensation ruling then you can make a claim.
You can apply for compensation here.
The Civil Aviation Authority moved to reassure affected passengers with the organisation’s chief executive Andrew Haines stating: “Passengers affected by the disruption caused by Ryanair’s cancelled flights are protected under EU law.
“The welfare of passengers must be the priority for any airline experiencing disruption and we fully expect all EU airlines to meet their obligations regarding passenger rights.
“Ryanair is well aware of these passenger rights and we have written to the airline to clarify their legal obligations and seek assurances on how and when they will provide alternative flights with other airlines.”