Ryanair publishes full list of cancelled flights
Airline Ryanair has published the full list of flights that it will cancel between now and October 28 after public outcry.
The Irish airline, under chief executive Michael O’Leary, has come in for intense criticism after it announced it would cancel up to 40-50 flights per day due to having “messed up” the planning of pilot holiday time.
It initially only published a list of cancelled flights up until this Wednesday, but after media and public scrutiny, then published a full list.
The main European destinations affected by the cancellations are Brussels, Milan, Rome and Barcelona, but some French cities such as Carcassonne and Nice also feature.
The UK airports affected are London Stansted, Edinburgh, Manchester, and Birmingham.
Despite the airline saying the cancelled number would amount to just 2% of its usual flights, reports have suggested it could still face a bill of up to £20m (€22,5m) in compensation to angry customers entitled to refunds and compensation.
Passengers given more than 14 days’ notice of cancellation are not entitled to compensation, but up until now, Ryanair had given some passengers less than a week’s warning.
Compensation and refund entitlements vary depending on how late your arrival time is compared to your original flight; how far you are travelling; and the route of your re-booked flight.
If you get a refund on your flight and rebook your journey yourself, you will lose any right to overall compensation, so official CAA advice suggests that you do it through the airline.
Passengers should also receive accommodation, food and drink money if they are stranded overnight.
O’Leary has said that the vast majority of customers on cancelled flights will receive notice of their cancellation personally by email, and would be transferred to Ryanair alternatives on the same day as their original flight, and failing that, the day after or the day before.
It had been reported that according to EU rules on passenger rights, the airline must offer alternatives on rival airlines if it cannot give customers a satisfactory solution on its own service. However, late yesterday O’Leary challenged the meaning of the rules, saying that Ryanair would not be forced to book passengers on to rivals’ flights.
“This is a mess up. When we make a mess in Ryanair we come out with our hands up,” O’Leary said in a statement.
He explained that changes in staff holiday allowance had left the company with a backlog of staff leave and a shortage of pilots on standby, so any of the normal disruptions to travel - such as delays, strikes or weather problems - would have caused total chaos, and a decision was made to cancel affected flights entirely, rather than risk even more problems.
The list of cancelled flights only extends as far as the end of October, with O’Leary promising things would be back to normal by November, which has a “lighter winter schedule” that would not require any cancellations.