Ryanair is cancelling up to 50 flights a day for the next six weeks due to a shortage of staff. The budget airline claims it ‘messed up’ the scheduling of holidays for its pilots, and as a result needs to cancel flights.
Around 315,000 Ryanair customers have been affected, with some stranded abroad, while others face having their holiday ruined.
The airline has said it is offering full refunds or alternative flights to those affected, but passengers are reporting problems with the process, with calls going unanswered and incorrect information supplied by the airline.
If you do manage to get through, here’s exactly what to say to ensure you get the alternative flights or refund, and the compensation that you may legally be due.
What to say if…
…Ryanair tells you it will will reroute you, but that the next available flight is in three days or more
“In which case I’d like you book me on the next available flight from another carrier please. As you have given me less than two weeks notice I will also be claiming compensation. This is the compensation I am entitled to under EC261 legislation if the new flight arrives more than four hours later than my original flight. (Or €400 compensation if the flight is over 1,500km).
…Ryanair tells you it won’t reroute you on a flight with an alternative airline, but you know there is a much earlier flight available
‘I appreciate your boss Michael O’Leary has said: “We will not pay for flights on other airlines,” but this contradicts the view of the Civil Aviation Authority, who have said ‘Regulation EC261 requires Ryanair to offer passengers on cancelled flights alternative travel options, including flying with a different airline.’ If you are not able to do this I will have to consider booking the flight myself and taking action against Ryanair through the courts to reclaim my expenses.’
…Ryanair tells you it won’t refund your flight within seven days
‘It says on your own website, ‘Refunds will be processed within 7 working days back to the form of payment used for the original booking. EC261 also requires you to refund me within 7 days.’
…Ryanair tells you it won’t pay for your additional expenses
‘Ryanair has a legal obligation under EC261 to pay for my meals and refreshments and any telephone calls, “in a reasonable relation to the waiting time” for my delayed flights, as well as for my hotel if I end up having to stay overnight, and transport to that hotel. The 2015 Consumer Rights Act also says that I can claim for other ‘consequential expenses’ that I’ve suffered “if the service I’ve received falls below the standard you’d expect”, which is clearly the case here.’
…Ryanair tells you it won’t pay for your additional expenses, because it says it has given you 14 days notice of the cancellation
‘Regardless of the period of notification, Ryanair is in breach of contract and must pay for losses as per the Consumer Rights Act.’
…Ryanair tells you it will only refund the leg of your journey that has been cancelled
‘According to the CAA website: “You can get your money back for all parts of the ticket you haven’t used. For instance, if you have booked a return flight and the outbound leg is cancelled, you can get the full cost of the return ticket back from your airline.”
…You are charged again for extras such as baggage and seat allocation costs when you rebook
‘You have already promised to refund passengers who have been charged twice for extra baggage or seat allocation. It is not acceptable and I will not be paying Ryanair again for a service I have not received.’
…Ryanair tries to charge you a cancellation fee
‘This is clearly a mistake as there is no justification for charging a cancellation fee for a flight that Ryanair themselves cancelled.’