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Dublin: 7 °C Thursday 14 November, 2019
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These Ryanair customers were unhappy with the airline's response to flight chaos

Do you know your rights as an airline customer?

Ryanair desk, Dublin Aiirport
Ryanair desk, Dublin Aiirport
Image: Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland

Updated 9pm

FLIGHT CHAOS CONTINUED today across Europe as hundreds of flights have been cancelled or delayed due to air traffic controllers in France going on a six day strike.

The Commission for Aviation Regulation states that under the law if your flight is cancelled, regardless of when you are notified of the cancellation, your air carrier must offer you the choice between:

  • re-routing as close as possible to the original departure time;
  • re-routing at a later date; or
  • a refund of the cost of the unused flight ticket.

If you choose to re-route your flight your air carrier must provide the passenger with assistance while they wait for the alternative flight.

  • meals and refreshments in reasonable relation to the 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.

If your flight is delayed by more than five hours, it must offer you the choice between:

  • continuing with your journey: or
  • a refund of the cost of your ticket.

The Commission states that compensation may also be payable to passengers affected by flight cancellations or long flight delays as a result of this strike action, though passengers are advised that an investigation will be required to determine this.

Ryanair 

There have been numerous complaints emerging on social media against Ryanair for their response to the crisis.

Today the airline has cancelled over 250 flights. Aer Lingus is operating their full schedule.

Aileen O’Toole said her daughter was due to fly to Malaga this morning, but she got a cancellation text at 6pm yesterday evening.

After three hours of trying to sort it out she said she finally got her on a flight on Friday morning, however it cost €180 to rebook.

Ryanair states on its website that those that wish to rebook can do so “free of charge”.

The Ryanair website was reportedly still taking bookings for the flight that O’Toole had been told was cancelled:

Ryanair said this evening that this particular customer’s case, a refund has now been issued.

Other passengers were not too pleased with customer service today either:

In response to a query from TheJournal.ie, a Ryanair spokesperson pointed out that the airline operates the largest route network in Europe which is why it has had more cancellations than smaller airlines such as Aer Lingus.

All customers whose flights have been cancelled are entitled to a full refund, a free transfer on to the next available flight or the option of rerouting, again free of charge. Customers have been provided with meal, refreshment and accommodation vouchers, in full accordance with the legislation.

They said Ryanair is continuing to assist all affected customers and it fully sympathises with those whose “hard earned holidays have been affected by the selfish action of such a small number of ATC workers”.

Here’s what to do if you’ve been affected: 

If customers wish to rebook their cancelled flight they are told to “avoid rebooking flights between the 24 – 26 June (inclusive) as there is a high possibility of further disruption/cancellations within that timeline”.

To transfer free of charge to a new flight, click here

To transfer the flight free of charge please contact their call centre here

Customers who wish to cancel their booking and claim a full refund of the unused flight, can apply for a refund here

The disruption is set to continue tomorrow, with the airline posting a list of tomorrow’s cancelled flights on its website. The list can be viewed here.

The Commission for Aviation Regulation Ryanair said passengers who remain unclear about their entitlements as set out in EC Regulation 261/ 2004, or who have further queries in relation to their rights, should log onto www.flightrights.ie or contact the Commission for Aviation Regulation on 1890 787 787.

- With additional reporting by Michelle Hennessy.

Read: Medics ‘forced to use plastic bags and tissues’ on injured Ryanair passengers>

Read: Five injured after passengers “catapulted from seats” on Ryanair flight from Dublin|>

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