BRITISH travellers have been left fuming after Ryanair cancelled yet more flights disrupting journeys right through to March 2018.
After warning 315,000 passengers their flights will be axed following a disastrous administration blunder, the low-cost airline has now admitted that more planes will be grounded affecting more than 400,000 travellers. We’ve got the lowdown…
How many Ryanair flights have been cancelled?
Ryanair cancelled about 170 flights the weekend the chaos was announced with about 40 to 50 more axed every day until the end of the summer season on October 28.
But the troubled airline announced on September 27 that it is grounding 25 of its 400 aircraft from this November to March 2018 because of pilot shortages.
And the Civil Aviation Authority has also threatened legal action against the airline for “persistently misleading passengers with inaccurate information” over their rights.
Ryanair has suspended 34 routes over the winter as the blunder over pilots’ holidays rumbles on, and it has also cancelled a series of other individual flights on different routes.
They said that under 400,000 bookings had been made on the affected flights.
Each of the travellers affected by the cancellations were emailed today – some with just five weeks notice.
Ryanair has claimed that all travellers affected by the cancellations were emailed today – but some passengers whose flights have been cancelled have told the Sun Online that they have heard nothing from the airline.
All customers with cancelled bookings have been offered either alternative flights or full refunds of their airfare.
Instead, they are being offered a £40 voucher per person, per cancelled flight – which is now also being given to all passengers affected by flights scrapped between September and October.
The airline claims that the new cancellations mean there will be no further disruptions to passengers’ flights, as there will be spare aircraft and crews across Ryanair’s 86 bases.
The airline’s Chief Exec Michael O’Leary said: “We sincerely apologise to those customers who have been affected by last week’s flight cancellations, or these sensible schedule changes announced today.
“From today, there will be no more rostering related flight cancellations this winter or in summer 2018.
“Slower growth this winter, will create lots of spare aircraft and crews which will allow us to manage the exceptional volumes of annual leave we committed to delivering in the nine months to Dec 2017.”
Why has Ryanair cancelled so many flights?
Previously, Ryanair blamed the cancellations on a problem with the pilots’ holiday rota – with many employees due leave that had to be taken before the end of the year.
It also said air traffic control strikes and weather disruptions were affecting its performance.
As emails were sent to the first affected passengers on September 15 Michael O’Leary said: “While over 98 per cent of our customers will not be affected by these cancellations over the next six weeks, we apologise unreservedly to those customers whose travel will be disrupted, and assure them that we have done our utmost to try to ensure that we can re-accommodate most of them on alternative flights on the same or next day.
“This is a mess of our own making. I apologise sincerely to all our customers for any worry or concern this has caused them over the past weekend.”
Ina further blow for customers O’Leary refused to rule out further cancellations could lie ahead at a meeting with shareholders.
He also revealed plans to cut pilots’ holiday – a move unlikely to be popular among staff already believed to be disgruntled.
There have been reports that many pilots turned down offers of a €12,000 (£10,600) bonus to give up some of their holiday and commit to the airline for another year.
Pilots in 33 airports across Europe were roundly rejecting the cash offer, instead demanding improved working conditions in their contracts to take on extra work before October 31.
How you can claim compensation for your flight cancellation
THE thousands of Ryanair customers affected by the cancellations will be able to claim compensation.
If you receive less than seven days’ notice cancellation for a short-haul flight you can claim up to 250 Euros (£220) per person. For medium haul its 400 Euros (£350).
Contact Ryanair directly. The form you need available on its website and make sure you have all your details to hand including your flight number and bank details you booked your flight with.
Don’t bother using a claims management company as they will keep a lot of the compensation you are awarded.
Click here for our full guide on how to claim up to £350 compensation and get a refund from Ryanair if your flight is cancelled.
Angry Ministers have urged Ryanair to compensate fully thousands left in limbo by the airline’s decision to cancel scores of flights over a staffing blunder.
Aviation Minister Lord Callanan said he was “very concerned” to see reports of passengers being stranded.
He added: “We expect all airlines to fulfil their obligations to their customers and do everything possible to notify them well in advance of any disruption to their journey.
“In event of any disruption or cancellation airlines must ensure customers are fully compensated.”
But many tourists faced fresh misery when they discovered travel insurance firms would not cover costs including hotels and hire cars.
The airline is now facing “enforcement action” for failing to provide accurate information to would-be travellers who have had their flights cancelled.
Ryanair has also failed to provide information to passengers about the airline’s obligations over refunds, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has said.
According to the CAA, Ryanair may face legal action for breaching consumer protection laws.