Has your Ryanair flight been cancelled? A guide to your rights

Ryanair chief executive, Michael O’Leary, apologises about having to cancel 40 to 50 flights every day until 31 October after "messing up" pilot roster.

Ryanair B737-800
Ryanair B737-800 (c) wikimedia/Adrian Pingstone
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Thousands of passengers travelling with budget airline Ryanair have been left stranded after the airline cancelled hundreds of flights. A further 40-50 flights have been cancelled each day for the next six weeks.

Has your Ryanair flight been cancelled? Check here

Around 200,000 passengers could be due flight cancellation compensation under EU rules landing Ryanair with a £60m bill in EU compensation alone.

Why are Ryanair doing this when it causes so much disruption?

Ryanair have come clean and admitted that the cancellations are due to them “messing up” when scheduling leave for pilots. Chief Executive, Michael O’Leary apologised “unreservedly” for “a mess of our own making”.

Ok, but my travel plans are ruined. Can I make a claim?

Yes you can because this is within the control of the airline and so there is not only an obligation to provide “care and assistance”, but also to pay compensation for those flights cancelled within 14 days of the travel date under EU Regulation 261/2004.

Read also ⇒ Are You Entitled to Airline Compensation?

According to Bott & Co Solicitors, “the only defence an airline has for not paying out compensation for cancelled flights is if the cancellations are due to an “extraordinary circumstance” such as a volcanic ash cloud, acts of terrorism or sabotage, or civil unrest.”

If Ryanair cancel your flight more than 14 days ahead of schedule then you have two main options: a) A full refund; b) An alternative flight, should you still want to travel.

However O’Leary warned that consequential losses, caused when travellers cancel hire cars or hotels, will not be covered by Ryanair.

Help! I’m stranded thanks to a Ryanair flight cancellation. What shall I do?

Ryanair have an obligation under EU Regulation 261/2004 to get you home at the earliest opportunity.

If they tell you to rebook on a Ryanair flight that isn’t due to leave for several days then you can rebook your own earlier flights home on a different carrier and then claim any reasonable expenses back from Ryanair.

However O’Leary had this to say about rebooking on a different carrier: “We will not pay for flights on other airlines. We cannot afford to pay the high costs of our competitors.”

How much can I claim for Ryanair cancellations?

EU Regulation 261/2004 have set out the amounts you can claim. They vary depending on the distance of the flight and the length of the delay on the replacement flights.

For flights between two EU states, that are cancelled between 14 and 7 days before departure – and depending on the distance of the flight  – you could receive 125 euros if your replacement flight departs more than 2 hours early rising to 600 euros for a flight delay of least four hours flying more than 3,500km, between an EU and non-EU airport.

However the amounts differ if no replacement flight is offered starting from 250 euros for a flight distance of up to 1,500km, 400 euros over 1,500km between two EU states and 600 euros for distances over 3,500km.

For legal advice: Bott & Co solicitors