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Dublin: 16 °C Friday 14 August, 2020
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Airline bosses meet to try stop 'chaos' over air traffic control strikes

Another eight strikes have been announced in Italy and Portugal.

Image: Shutterstock/B Calkins

CEOS OF EUROPEAN airlines are meeting with airline industry figures in Brussels today to find ways to minimise the travel disruption that strikes cause.

Air France KLM, easyJet, Ryanair, Lufthansa Group and Finnair are amongst the members of the group Airlines for Europe (A4E) that are set to meet today.

The meeting comes as more than 1,000 flights are at risk of being cancelled over the next four weeks, due to eight strikes by air traffic controllers planned for Italy and Portugal.

There have already been numerous disruptions to flights this year following previous strikes by French air traffic control.

Thomas Reynaert, the Managing Director of A4E, maintains there will be more strikes following the ones confirmed for July.

European travellers face a summer of chaos, disruption and ruined holidays due to ATC strikes.

Yesterday Ryanair announced the cancellation of 166 flights and delays for 100,000 other customers. Full details of flight cancellations and links to request refunds or rebook flights for free are available online.

Aer Lingus also cancelled 12 flights between Dublin and Barcelona, Madrid, Marseille, Perpignan, Bordeaux and Nice. The airline has said that customers who have bookings on cancelled flights may change to another date for free online or request a full refund.

File Photo DAA has confirmed that it plans to construct a second runway at Dublin Airport. The 3110 metre runway will be built 1.6km north of the existing main runway and is expected to be delivered in 2020. Dublin Airport is to invest 320m euro on the pr Source: Mark Stedman/RollingNews.ie

Customers have taken to Twitter to ask airlines about the cancelled flights and the refund and rebooking process. While Aer Lingus have replied to many queries, Ryanair has not yet responded to questions via the social media site on this issue.

However it has been dealing with other issues brought to it by customers including baggage allowance, cabin bag dimensions and bringing drones through security.

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One customer Paddy McKenna, whose flight from Rodez to Dublin was cancelled, expressed his frustration about the customer service:

I spent three or four hours ringing Ryanair and going into an automated phone system that told me “We’re too busy, we can’t take your call” and the livechat on the website was also too busy. I didn’t know I could rebook from another airport, a guy in our hotel told me and that’s how we got sorted.
I understand Ryanair didn’t want to cancel the flight but you are supposed to have customer service when people need it and it wasn’t there.

Read: The people who make Ireland’s money are going on strike

Read: Here are some of the most bizarre things flight attendants have seen in their line of duty

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Roisin Nestor

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