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Ryanair flight chaos could last until end of the year. What are your rights?

Robin Bowman

Robin Bowman
Sep 18, 2017

The cancellation chaos that has disrupted thousands of Ryanair passengers could last until the end of the year, it’s understood.

The budget airline started to slash hundreds of flights from its schedule, cancelling between 40 and 50 a day, as it tries to cope with “messed up” plans for pilots’ holidays.

Ryanair says the cancellations will go on for six weeks.

But so far it has only published the flights it intends to cancel up until Wednesday this week.

The airline is coming under increasing pressure to do more to keep passengers informed.

Now, however, it appears the situation may be even worse than first thought.

There are reports of an internal letter from the airline’s chief operations officer Michael Hickey that forecasts the disruption could go on until the end of the year.

The letter reveals that pilots were only told of the staff shortages on September 13, but that the airline had known the crisis was coming since last year.

Ryanair says the shortages are due to a change in the way the holiday calendar for pilots, most of whom are self-employed, is organised. Many pilots are now having to squeeze in the leave they are entitled to before the end of the year, it claims.

But some insiders say the real reason for the debacle is that pilots are quitting Ryanair for other airlines and there is now a shortage.


What are your rights?

You don’t have to take all this lying down.

Under EU laws passengers hit by cancellations are entitled to:

Assistance and compensation if the cancellation is within the airline’s control, which this is.

* Ryanair will have to refund the price of all tickets to passengers, and they have to do this within seven days, or they have to offer another flight if the cancellation is at short notice.

* You can also claim compensation.

* The amount you can claim varies from €250 for short-haul flights, €440 for medium-haul and €600 for long-haul.


Check out our comprehensive guide to Flights and Your Rights, here.