Ryanair cancellations Q&A 

septembre 19, 2017


Ryanair cancellations Q&A 

Ryanair has announced its plans to cancel 40 – 50 flights a day for the next six weeks to ensure the punctuality of flights and so their staff can take their annual leave. 400.000 passengers will need to rearrange their travel plans.

1. I’m really concerned that my flight might be cancelled. Is there anyway to find out if it is?
« Ryanair was informing customers at short notice about cancellations, but now it has published a full list of cancellations on its website and anyone with a reservation for a cancelled flight will be informed by email. »

2. My flight’s been cancelled. Am I entitled to a refund?
« Yes, passengers can claim a refund from the airline. »

3. And in case my return flight is not cancelled?
« If passengers have booked a return flight and the outbound leg is cancelled, they can also claim the full cost of the return ticket. »

4. What if I still want to travel?
« In this case you will not get the refund, but Ryanair must offer an alternative flight as soon as possible after the cancelled flight. »

5. If I choose to get an alternative flight, when will I fly?

EU legislation states: “You have the right to be rerouted to your final destination shown on your ticket at the earliest opportunity under comparable transport conditions or rebooking at a later date if that is more convenient for you.”

« The trouble is, the meaning of “earliest opportunity” has not been tested in courts. If Ryanair is able to put you on another of its flights later in the day to the same destination, it is almost certainly fulfilling its obligations. But if, say, you are heading to Barcelona for a long weekend on Friday, and it says it won’t get you on a flight until Sunday, then it is likely to be breaching the EU rules. »

6. What If I’ve not been offered a re-routing?
If that is the case, then Ryanair is in breach of EU rules, and you are entitled to be reimbursed for the cost of buying another flight.

7. How about compensation?
Financial compensation depends on the flight length and the reason for the cancellation. There are three scenarios:

  •  If Ryanair has cancelled your flight with more than two weeks notice, then you’re only entitled to the cost of the ticket.
  • If you receive between 7 to 14 days’ notice before you take-off, you can only claim compensation if Ryanair fails to offer you another ticket that departs two hours after your original departure time and reaches your destination less than four hours after your scheduled arrival time.
  • If you receive less than seven days notice and fails to offer you a replacement flight which leaves one hour after your original departure time and reaches your final destination less than two hours after the scheduled time or arrival, then you will be entitled to the following compensation: Airlines usually have to refund the cost of the ticket and pay an additional €250 for flights over 1,500km and €400 for those between 1,500 – 3,500km.

8. How do I claim compensation?
Contact the airline. Disrupted passengers must write a letter of complaint to the airline. They should keep as much evidence as they can, such as boarding cards and receipts to claim expenses.

9. What about “extraordinary circumstances” as a defense?
If the air carrier can prove the cancellation was due to extraordinary circumstances, then you may NOT be entitled to compensation. However, you are still due a refund or re-routing. However, so far, Ryanair has been apologetic and not invoked any « extraordinary circumstance ». There is a small change the defense will be used and even smaller that it will succeed.

10. I’ve got a hotel booked at my destination. What happens now?
Unfortunately these are classified as a ‘consequential’ loss and the EU rules don’t cover these. For example, if you’ve booked a non-refundable hotel (or anything else for your trip that you can’t use because of the cancellations), you won’t be entitled to anything. Your travel insurance might cover these if you’ve got a more complex policy though so make sure you check that out too.

11. My return flight home has been cancelled. Will Ryanair pay for hotels?
It certainly should. Airlines in the EU have to offer free meals and refreshments, plus a hotel in cases where a stay is necessary. But keep all receipts, and note that alcohol is not covered.

12. Can I cancel and rebook with another airline while Ryanair is dithering around?
This would be a risky move. It’s appalling that so many passengers are in the dark about their travel plans, but if you cancel now, and the Ryanair flight does go ahead, you will not receive any refunds or compensation.