Ryanair has been hit with fresh controversy this week after it announced on Saturday that it is to cancel 40-50 flights every day for the next six weeks after it “messed up” the planning of pilot holidays.
The cancellations could affect up to 400,000 passengers amid speculation that pilots are deserting the airline to work elsewhere.
A Norwegian spokesperson has claimed 140 pilots have joined the airline from Ryanair this year, with pilot recruitment underway for more pilots in a new Dublin base which is opening later this year.
But passengers looking for compensation for the disruption could be facing an uphill battle.
Which? analysis of Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) data has found that where passengers took a compensation complaint against Ryanair to the regulator, Ryanair were in the wrong in 77 per cent of cases – but they FAILED to pay out in 19 per cent of cases despite being ruled against.
Alex Neill, Which? Managing Director of Home Products and Services, said: “Ryanair’s cancellation of hundreds of flights at short notice is a nightmare for its passengers, with thousands facing huge inconvenience and many more left in the dark with no idea whether their flights will be affected or not.
“Ryanair must urgently publish the full schedule of impacted flights. Until this is released, it should let passengers cancel their flights without penalty. It must also honour its legal duty to arrange alternative flights or provide a full refund, inform passengers of their rights and proactively pay compensation and reimburse reasonable out of pocket expenses.
“This highlights once again the need for automatic compensation across the industry. Ryanair should now take the initiative and pay out to passengers they know are entitled to compensation without making people jump through hoops.”
- For those passengers who are currently stranded, they will be entitled to statutory compensation (including accommodation, travel etc if they are being re-routed).
- Any passengers travelling in under two weeks will be entitled to compensation, unless they have been put on a similar flight (similar time, same day etc) at no extra cost.
- If the re-routed flight arrives at its destination within 2 hours of the original flight (for short haul), 3 hours (for medium haul) and 4 hours (for long haul), Ryanair may reduce the compensation by 50%.