Ryanair strike: Nearly 400 flights cancelled today – is your holiday affected? | Travel News | Travel
Ryanair has been forced to cancel 396 flights today – one in six of its services – due to pilot strikes in Ireland, Germany, Sweden, Belgium and the Netherlands, which could affect more than 74,000 passengers.
At least 50 flights have been cancelled between the UK and destinations in the affected countries.
Germany and Ireland will suffer the most from the strikes, as flights between Berlin, Frankfurt, Hamburg and Dublin and airports in Britain were among the cancelled flights.
In total, 20 flights have been cancelled in Ireland, 104 in Belgium, 22 in Sweden, 250 in Germany. No flights will be cancelled in the Netherlands, despite the strike.
Ryanair said in a statement: “All of our flights to/from the Netherlands will operate as scheduled on Friday 10 August. There will be no cancellations as a result of the unnecessary strike action by the Dutch pilot union (VNV-DALPA) in the Netherlands.”
Ryanair has said in another statement: “Despite the regrettable and unjustified strike action taking place in 5 of our 37 markets this morning, all 370 first wave aircraft departed on schedule this morning with lots of families travelling on holidays – thanks to the efforts of the majority of our pilots who are working normally.
“Today, over 2,000 Ryanair flights (85 per cent of our schedule) will operate as normal carrying almost 400,000 customers across Europe.
“Ryanair took every step to minimise the disruption and we notified our customers as early as possible advising them of their free move, refund or reroute options. The majority of customers affected have already been re-accommodated on another Ryanair flight.
“We want to again apologise to customers affected by this unnecessary disruption and we ask the striking unions to continue negotiations instead of calling any more unjustified strikes.
The airline has said it informed customers as early as possible any flight cancellations, but some people have complained they were given very little notice.
One Twitter user tweeted a screenshot of the Ryanair Live Chat screen on the budget airline’s website informing the passengers that a representative will be with them in “approximately 72 minutes.”
“Ryanair cancelled my flight in the last min because of pilots strike,” user jzff tweeted. “They offer me to change my tickets online which it’s not possible because of their system crash. No one is on the phone and live chat. They even don’t do a refund. Ryanair is a headache.”
Another disgruntled customer tweeted: “Ryanair cancelled my wife’s flight for today and refunded. However, they won’t refund her return flight which is booked for tomorrow as the “ticket is still usable”?? “We know you can’t get there but you can at least get back.”
The Dutch pilot’s union, Vereniging Nederlandse Verkeersvliegers (VNV), have demanded the low-cost airline change its ways.
They tweeted: Today is all about a wake-up call for the Ryanair management. A culture change is needed. Give your employees the respect they deserve.”
Germany’s Cockpit union accused the airline of “categorically” ruling out higher personnel costs for cockpit crew, leaving no room for a compromise.
“Ryanair alone is responsible for the escalation we are now seeing,” Cockpit president Martin Locher told a news conference on Wednesday.
If Ryanair cancels your flight, they must provide passengers with a full refund for their cancelled flights or book them on the next available flight free of charge said Simon Calder, a travel expert.
Speaking on BBC Breakfast he said: “Any passenger should have been given at least 48 hours notice. They have been told you can switch to another Ryanair flight or get a full refund.
“Crucially though under European air passenger rights they’re also allowed, if Ryanair doesn’t have a seat available, and flights are very full at the moment, to be rebooked on another airline service at the cost of Ryanair. Anecdotally it is not as easy as it might sound though.”
“Of course, if you’re stuck in Germany or Sweden or somewhere like that and you can’t get back the airline has to pay for you accommodation and your meals until they can fly you back home.”