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News : Ryanair Customers Unhappy with Airline’s Response to Flight Chaos
June 25, 2014 -- Flight chaos continued today across Europe as hundreds of flights have been cancelled or delayed due to air traffic controllers in France going on a six day strike.
The Commission for Aviation Regulation states that under the law if your flight is cancelled, regardless of when you are notified of the cancellation, your air carrier must offer you the choice between:
- re-routing as close as possible to the original departure time;
- re-routing at a later date; or
- a refund of the cost of the unused flight ticket.
If you choose to re-route your flight your air carrier must provide the passenger with assistance while they wait for the alternative flight.
- meals and refreshments in reasonable relation to the waiting time;
- hotel accommodation where an overnight stay becomes necessary;
- transport between the hotel accommodation and the airport;
- two free telephone calls/ access to email.
If your flight is delayed by more than five hours, it must offer you the choice between:
- continuing with your journey: or
- a refund of the cost of your ticket.
The Commission states that compensation may also be payable to passengers affected by flight cancellations or long flight delays as a result of this strike action, though passengers are advised that an investigation will be required to determine this.
There have been numerous complaints emerging on social media against Ryanair for their response to the crisis.
Today the airline has cancelled over 250 flights. Aer Lingus is operating their full schedule.
Aileen O’Toole says her daughter was due to fly to Malaga this morning, but she got a cancellation text at 6pm yesterday evening.
After three hours of trying to sort it out she said she finally got her on a flight on Friday morning, however it cost €180 to rebook.
Ryanair states on its website that those that wish to rebook can do so "free of charge".
The Ryanair website was reportedly still taking bookings for the flight that O’Toole had been told was cancelled.
Ryanair said they are now investigating.
Other passengers are not too pleased with customer service either.
TheJournal.ie asked Ryanair what their customers who find themselves in these situations can do. They directed us to their website.
It states that the slot delays caused by the French/Belgian Air Traffic Controllers (ATC) strikes today are continuing to cause severe disruptions for our customers.
ATC delays of up to 4 hours are now being allocated to Ryanair flights operating to/from France, and also flying over France.We expect that these delays will continue to build through the evening as the backlog of delayed flights rises.
In order to minimise disruptions on the rest of our network Ryanair has been forced regrettably to cancel approx. 15% of Ryanair’s total schedule of over 1,600 flights today.Belgian ATC have confirmed that they will strike between 18:00 and 20:00hrs (Belgian time) which will cause further disruptions to our flights.
All customers affected by these cancellations will be contacted by email and SMS later today and offered a choice of re-accommodation on later flights or full refunds.
Ryanair apologises sincerely for any delays or inconvenience caused to our customers by this unnecessary and regrettable French/Belgian ATC strike.
If customers wish to rebook their cancelled flight they are told to "avoid rebooking flights between the 24 – 26 June (inclusive) as there is a high possibility of further disruption/cancellations within that timeline".
To transfer the flight free of charge please contact their call centre.
Customers who wish to cancel their booking and claim a full refund of the unused flight, can apply for a refund here.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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About Ryanair Limited:
Ryanair Ltd. is an Irish low-cost airline. Its headquarters is located in Swords, County Dublin, Ireland, with its primary operational bases at Dublin Airport and London Stansted Airports. In 2013, Ryanair was both the largest European airline by scheduled passengers carried, and the busiest international airline by passenger numbers.
Published: Thursday, June 26, 2014