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Dublin: 8 °C Thursday 22 November, 2018
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Was your flight cancelled? Here are your rights

Over 1,000 Ryanair flights were cancelled across Europe today.

Empty Ryanair check-in counters at Frankfurt–Hahn Airport in Germany today.
Empty Ryanair check-in counters at Frankfurt–Hahn Airport in Germany today.
Image: Thomas Frey/DPA/PA Images

A FIFTH DAY of strike action affected Ryanair flights across Europe today.

Pilots from Ireland, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden and Belgium are all taking part in the industrial action.

Over 1,000 flights were cancelled, affecting 55,000 passengers.

The action in Ireland is over working conditions and how Ryanair organises transfers of its pilots between bases. More rolling strikes are expected.

All customers affected by the cancellations were notified by email or text message with many offered new flights, the airline said.

So what happens if your flight is cancelled?

Here are your rights, regardless of which airline you’re dealing with, according to the Commission for Aviation Regulation:

If your flight is cancelled, the airline must offer you a choice between the following:

  • rerouting as soon as possible
  • rerouting at a later date at your convenience
  • a refund

If you choose the first option (re-routing as soon as possible), your airline must provide you with care and assistance while you wait for the alternative flight. Care and assistance comprises:

  • meals and refreshments as reasonable in relation to 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

Long delays

If your flight is subject to a long delay (two hours or more), your airline must provide you with the care and assistance described above. In addition, if your flight is delayed by more than five hours (regardless of the length of the journey), it must offer you a choice between:

  • continuing with your journey
  • a refund of the cost of your ticket

The Commission said it is not possible for passengers to travel and avail of a full refund.

If your airline does not provide the care and assistance described above, the Commission said passengers “should make their own reasonable arrangements and retain all receipts in the process”. Passengers are advised to then submit copies of these receipts to the airline for reimbursement.

In the case of both flight cancellations and long delays, air carriers should provide affected passengers with written notices setting out their rights and entitlements under EC Regulation 261/ 2004.

The Commission said compensation is unlikely to be payable to passengers affected by flight cancellations or long delays due to adverse weather conditions are they are incompatible with the safe operation of a flight and are regarded as exempt under the passenger rights legislation.

More information can be read here.

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About the author:

Órla Ryan

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