Travel chaos as Ryanair cancel 600 flights

It wouldn’t be the Summer holidays if we didn’t have strikes to contend with.

Ryanair cabin crew are staging a walkout on Wednesday 25th July and Thursday 26th July in Belgium, Portugal and Spain. This strike will affect 50,000 passengers and result in the cancellation of 600 flights.

This strike comes on the heels of industrial action taken by Ryanair’s Irish pilots over pay and their conditions of employment. That strike affected around 5,000 passengers flying from Ireland to the United Kingdom and is set to continue with another walkout next Tuesday.

Unions representing the cabin crew involved in the walkout this Wednesday and Thursday are asking for Ryanair staff to be employed according to national legislation of the country they operate in, rather than Ireland as is currently the case. The unions also want contractors to be given the same conditions as employees.

Ryanair’s chief marketing officer Kenny Jacobs said in a statement: “These strikes are entirely unjustified and will achieve nothing other than to disrupt family holidays, and benefit competitor airlines in Belgium, Portugal and Spain.”

Meanwhile, customers of Ryanair vented their frustration and anger on social media.

Ryanair say they have apologised for the disruption and are offering those customers affected by the strike a full refund or re-accommodation on alternative flights. Ryanair said it had contacted customers by email or SMS text and if you haven’t received a notification then your flight will operate as scheduled.

According to Simon Calder, travel correspondent for The Independent, “More than 100,000 Ryanair passengers are in line for hundreds of pounds in compensation after their flights were cancelled because of strikes”.

In his article, he said that the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) was urging holidaymakers affected by strikes to claim compensation under EU261. Under this EU law, customers can claim compensation ranging from 250-600 euros depending on the distance of the flight for delays of 2 hours or more, cancellations, or being denied boarding due to overbooking.

However, Ryanair immediately said it would reject any claims as the flight cancellations were caused by extraordinary circumstances. It said “Under EU261 legislation, no compensation is payable when the union is acting unreasonably and totally beyond the airline’s control.”

Ryanair are not the only airline to deny compensation to passengers. Both British Airways and Air France have refused compensation claims for flights cancelled due to industrial action.

The CAA released guidance on 20th July, saying “We note that the recent industrial action is not by Ryanair’s UK employees, but it is the view of the UK Civil Aviation Authority, taking account of previous Court rulings, that when a flight cancellation is caused by strike action by the airline’s employees, the airline is required to pay compensation to passengers in respect of the cancellation of the flight, if it has not warned passengers of the cancellation at least two weeks prior to the scheduled time of departure.”

“In the case of the most recent industrial action involving Ryanair, passengers must first submit their claim to the airline and if they are not satisfied with the response, they can seek redress via the approved Alternative Dispute Resolution service.”

If you’ve booked airport parking, hotel or a lounge with Parking4less and are affected by the Ryanair flight cancellations, please contact us on 0800 902 0381 or visit our Manage My Booking page to amend your booking.