Ryanair passengers call for BOYCOTT after boss Michael O’Leary ‘cancels Christmas’ by axing 34 routes


FURIOUS Ryanair passengers have accused the budget airline’s boss of “cancelling Christmas” after Michael O’Leary announced he’s scrapping 34 routes.

Passengers are calling for a boycott after a further 18,000 flights were cancelled over five months.

 Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary has called the new cancellations 'sensible schedule changes'

Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary has called the new cancellations ‘sensible schedule changes’

The cancellations have come because the airline has grounded 25 of its 400 aircraft for five months because of pilot shortages.

34 flight routes are being suspended for the entire period, including Stansted to Edinburgh and Glasgow, Gatwick to Belfast and Newcastle to Faro – the full list is towards the bottom of this article.

Alex Neill, of the consumer group Which? said: “This situation is a complete and utter shambles that now extends to up to nearly three quarters of a million people.

“Ryanair has effectively cancelled Christmas for some of its passengers.”

The sorry situation has prompted passengers to set up a hashtag, encouraging others to boycott the airline.

Peter Bond‏ @bondyee said: “#Ryanair what a complete and utter shambles of a company. Not fit for purpose. I’ll never use them #boycottRyanair”.

Dominic Gusah‏ said: “Thanks to @Ryanair , we really will be ‘Driving home for Christmas’ this year”.

Jenna Yallop‏ @jebsyallop said: “Thank you @Ryanair for ruining my 30th birthday trip and my partners birthday trip. We are now distressed and out of pocket #boycottRyanair”.

Jessica Bagenal‏ @juicyjess82 said: “Absolute disgrace they’re allowed to do this knowing they constantly over book & cancel flights…greed ? #boycottRyanair #greedy #grounded”.

Pauline Lawless‏ @PaulineLawless said: “#BoycottRyanair Please everyone let that idiot see how we feel. BoycottRyanair till he’s gone.”

Wills‏ @will_sheldon73 said:”@Ryanair dog sh** company ran by a complete p***k of a man who I can only hope will walk barefoot on Lego for all eternity in hell.. #boycottRyanair”.

 34 flight routes across Europe have been completed scrapped between November and March 2018, and they have also cancelled a series of other individual flights on different routes

34 flight routes across Europe have been completed scrapped between November and March 2018, and they have also cancelled a series of other individual flights on different routes

Around 400,000 customers will be hit in the new wave of cancellations, with some flight routes scrapped entirely for five months.

The Civil Aviation Authority has already threatened legal action against the airline for “persistently misleading passengers with inaccurate information” over their rights.

But thousands of other flights on different routes have also been cancelled – click here for the full list of flights affected in the UK from November to March.

Because passengers are this time being given up to five weeks’ notice of the cancellation this time, they will not receive any extra compensation under EU passenger rules.

Passengers affected have been offered a refund and a €40 (£35) voucher as compensation — but this has been blasted as derisory.

There are a strict range of terms and conditions attached to the vouchers.

 Ryanair has today announced that it is cancelling more flights this winter - affecting up to 400,000 customers

Getty – Contributor
Ryanair has today announced that it is cancelling more flights this winter – affecting up to 400,000 customers

They must be spent in October on a flight that leaves before March 20 – and the busy Christmas period between December 20 and January 7 is exempt.

It also can’t be used on the Ryanair app or for infants.

Alex Neill of consumers’ group Which? said: “This situation is a complete and utter shambles. For some of its passengers, Ryanair has effectively cancelled Christmas.

“Offering a voucher will be cold comfort for passengers who can’t book the flight they need.”

Many travellers have vowed to ditch the Irish carrier. Dan Crabb tweeted: “Cheers @Ryanair for cancelling the flight for the first leg of our honeymoon. Never again.”

Kirsty B added: “Absolute shambles of a company @Ryanair. Our hotel is not refundable so thanks for f*** all!”

Ryanair was yesterday dubbed “Ryanground” after it said it was grounding 25 of its 400 planes from November to March 2018 due to pilot shortages.

It comes ten days after Ryanair said 40 to 50 flights a day would be cancelled over the next six weeks.

It claims fewer than one per cent of its 50 million customers will be affected. Bosses also insist the ­latest move will “eliminate all risk of further flight cancellations”.

Passenger’s Christmas flights home have been cancelled

Sinead McIntyre, the Editor of Sun On Sunday’s Fabulous magazine was heading home to Northern Ireland this Christmas but her flights from London Gatwick to Belfast have now been cancelled.

Because Ryanair have given more than 14 days notice, Sinead and her family are not entitled to any compensation – only a refund.

They are now concerned that they won’t be able to afford flights on a different airline at such short notice.

She told Sun Online: “I have heard nothing from Ryanair.

“My mum’s flights here in November were cancelled out of the blue yesterday – with no communication from them at all.

“Then my sister tried to book to go home for Christmas and that is the only way I managed to discover that there are no flights from November to March – even though I only booked mine last Friday.

“We are now left with no flights home for me, my husband and my six-year-old twins.

“By this point prices will also be through the roof so I am not even sure we will be able to travel.”

The airline has estimated that the flight cancellations will cost the business less than £50million.

Boss Michael O’Leary has apologised for the “sensible schedule changes” and blamed the problem on mismanagement of pilots’ leave.

He added: “Slower growth this winter will create lots of spare ­aircraft and crews, which will allow us to manage the exceptional ­volumes of annual leave.”

The Civil Aviation Authority has asked for a meeting with Ryanair and could take legal action.

List of flight routes from November to March 2018 that Ryanair has scrapped entirely

1. Bucharest – Palermo

2. Chania – Athens

3. Chania – Pafos

4. Chania – Thessaloniki

5. Cologne – Berlin (SXF)

6. Edinburgh – Szczecin

7. Glasgow – Las Palmas

8. Hamburg – Edinburgh

9. Hamburg – Katowice

10. Hamburg – Oslo (TRF)

11. Hamburg – Thessaloniki

12. Hamburg – Venice (TSF)

13. London (LGW) – Belfast

14. London (STN) – Edinburgh

15. London (STN) – Glasgow

16. Newcastle – Faro

17. Newcastle – Gdansk

18. Sofia – Castellon

19. Sofia – Memmingen

20. Sofia – Pisa

21. Sofia – Stockholm (NYO)

22. Sofia – Venice (TSF)

23. Thessaloniki – Bratislava

24. Thessaloniki – Paris BVA

25. Thessaloniki – Warsaw (WMI)

26. Trapani – Baden Baden

27. Trapani – Frankfurt (HHN)

28. Trapani – Genoa

29. Trapani – Krakow

30. Trapani – Parma

31. Trapani – Rome FIU

32. Trapani – Trieste

33. Wroclaw – Warsaw

34. Gdansk – Warsaw

It claims the airline did not provide enough information to passengers on how to claim refunds on additional expenses such as meals, hotels and transfer costs.

It also said Ryanair had misled people over their rights to alternative flights at the airline’s expense.

Ryanair said it had addressed the CAA’s concerns.

It also announced that it has scrapped plans to bid for bankrupt Italian airline Alitalia.

Timeline of an airline crisis

September 15: Ryanair cancels flights for six weeks because it mismanaged pilots’ holidays.

September 18: Full list of more than 2,000 grounded flights is published. Chief executive Michael O’Leary admits it is “our mess-up”.

September 19: Pilots consider strike action over working conditions — and are offered a £12,000 bonus.

September 21: Airline says it will change holiday schedule of 500 pilots.

Share price falls to £14.54, the lowest since its £15.25 at the start of the crisis.

Yesterday: Ryanair scraps an extra 18,000 flights. Shares back up to £15.02.

Despite the run of bad news, shares in Ryanair rose by four per cent — although analysts warn of possible tougher times ahead.

George Salmon, of broker ­Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “The damage to its reputation will be a serious test for the company.”

Strikes, air traffic control hold-ups and the crew leave woes have also seen its punctuality fall below 80 per cent in the past fortnight.



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