Ryanair strike: what to do if your flights are affected and how to claim compensation

Ryanair has lost its high court attempt to block strike action by their pilots and as a result, the strikes will go ahead today (Thursday 22 August) to Friday 23 August.

Thursday, 22nd August 2019, 11:56 am
This is everything you need to know if your flights are affected (Photo: Shutterstock)

Another strike is planned for 2 to 4 September.

As the strikes go ahead, Ryanair said that they couldn’t rule out “flight delays and changes”.

Will your flight be affected?

This is everything you need to know if your flights are affected (Photo: Shutterstock)

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Ryanair said in a statement: “We do not expect significant disruptions on Thursday or Friday, however we cannot rule out some small flight delays and/or flight changes.”

The statement went on to explain that “all passengers scheduled to travel on flights to/from UK airports on Thurs 22nd & Fri 23rd Aug should arrive at their departure airport as normal” and that passengers “can expect their scheduled Ryanair flight to depart on time”.

If you haven’t received a text message or an email from Ryanair, your flight is scheduled to operate as usual.

What to do if your flight cancelled

If you find that your flight has been either delayed or cancelled, there are rules in place to ensure you’re not left stranded or out of pocket.

If your flight is cancelled, Ryanair says that there are two options you can choose to pursue:

- Apply for a refund

- Change the cancelled flight for another for free

If you opt for a refund, you’ll need to log into your MyRyanair account and follow the steps online to apply.

If you’re looking to change your flight instead, these are your reroute options:

- Ryanair will try and accommodate you on the next available Ryanair flight on the same or next day. If this isn’t available, then Ryanair will try to accommodate you on the next available Ryanair flight from/to a suitable alternative airport within the same country.

- If this isn’t available on the same or next day either, Ryanair will accommodate you to your destination on an airline with which they have an agreement. Their partner airlines include EasyJet, Jet2, Vueling, CityJet, Aer Lingus, Norwegian or Eurowings airlines.

- Ryanair can alternatively accommodate you on comparable transport to your end destination, such as a train, bus, airline or car hire. If you require this option, be aware that you may need to rebook flights yourself and submit the receipts to Ryanair for reimbursement.

What if my flight has been delayed?

If your flight has been delayed, there are options available, similar to the process that happens if your flight was cancelled.

You can apply for a refund if your flight has been delayed for over two hours, or you can change your flight for free, again, if it’s been delayed for over two hours.

To apply for a refund, then you’ll need to log into your MyRyanair account and follow the steps.

If you want to submit a travel, transport, refreshments expense or compensation claim following a flight cancellation or delay over three hours, you’ll need to fill out a EU261 claim form, which you can find here.

Be aware that “if your flight was delayed and arrives at its final destination with a delay that is less than three hours, you will not be entitled to EU261 compensation”, according to the Ryanair website.

If you’d prefer to change your delayed flight, you’ll need to rebook by either using the online chat, calling the customer service helpline on 0330 1007 838, or by going to the airport ticket desk.

Why are Ryanair pilots striking?

The British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA) has stated that the strikes are down to disagreements over pay and working conditions.

A statement from the union listed disputes over “loss of license insurance, maternity benefits, allowances, and a fair, transparent, and consistent pay structure”.

Ryanair hit back against “unreasonable pay demands” in a statement, and explained that these demands “could severely damage Ryanair’s business and UK pilots jobs”.

Brian Strutton, BALPA general secretary, said: "Pilots in Ryanair are seeking the same kind of policies and agreements that exist in other airlines - our demands are not unreasonable."

He also branded Ryanair’s behaviour on the run-up to the strikes as “bully boy behaviour”.

Regarding Ryanair’s attempt to block the strikes through the High Court, Strutton said: “We are extremely disappointed that Ryanair have taken such a belligerent and negative stance.”

He added: “We have become used to their macho posturing, but sadly it is their passengers who will pay the price for Ryanair’s attitude.”