You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Ryanair strike: One in six flights cancelled after pilot walkout affects five countries

The i logo The i 10/08/2018 Emma Sheppard
a group of people standing next to a window © Provided by Johnston Publishing Ltd

The 24-hour Ryanair strike is underway, throwing the travel plans of up to 70,000 passengers into disarray, as 396 flights are cancelled.

That includes 250 flights to and from Germany, 104 from Belgium, 22 from Sweden and 20 between the UK and Ireland. Around 50 flights in and out of the UK have been cancelled.

Late on Thursday afternoon, judges in the Netherlands ruled Dutch pilots could also join the strike, joining their colleagues in Ireland, Germany, Sweden, and Belgium. The pilots want Dutch law to apply to staff located there, and are demanding sick pay.

Last month, 300 hundred flights a day were cancelled when staff from Spain, Portugal and Belgium went on strike for 48 hours.

Ryanair had managed to avert large-scale strikes before Christmas 2017 by agreeing to recognise unions for the first time.

Watch: Ryanair strike widened as German pilots joined the Friday stoppage (Provided by Reuters)

Replay Video

Missing a wedding

It's the largest single-day action over pay and conditions in Ryanair's history. The airline says it has made efforts to resolve the dispute and is ready to continue with negotiations.

A spokesperson added: "We apologise to our customers for this unnecessary strike and regrettable disruption.”

Emily Dutton had been due to fly to Gothenberg in Sweden for a friend's wedding with her boyfriend Craig, before her flight was cancelled two days ago.

She told the BBC the earliest alternative flight she'd been offered was on Sunday, meaning she'd miss Saturday's wedding.

"My only options were to get a refund or to go down the route - which I have done - to claim compensation," she added.

Related: RANKED: The 20 best airlines in the world (Provided by Business Insider)

Claiming compensation

Which? travel editor Rory Boland urges passengers affected to be firm with the airline, particularly when it comes to being offered seats with an alternative provider.

“If they aren’t [offering an alternative airline], you should be persistent about that,” he added when he appeared on BBC Radio 5 Live to talk about the issue. “Look up when alternative flights are with other airlines, go back to them and be absolutely insistent.”

EU261 legislation sets compensation at €250 (approximately £225) for flights of up to 1,500km, and €400 (around £360) for longer flights in Europe and North Africa. This should be in addition to your refund, or cost of an alternative flight if you were given less than 14 days’ notice of the cancellation.

A spokesperson from the UK Civil Aviation Authority said in a statement: “When a flight cancellation is caused by strike action by the airline’s employees, the airline is required to pay compensation to passengers in respect of the cancellation of the flight, if it has not warned passengers of the cancellation at least two weeks prior to the scheduled time of departure."

Passengers must first submit their claim to the airline, then escalate to the Alternative Dispute Resolution service if they're unsatisfied with the result. Financial journalist Paul Lewis has urged travellers to claim despite Ryanair's prior assertion that strikes are not covered under the rules.

AdChoices
AdChoices

More from The i

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon