Eimear Kelly breaks down the details behind Ryanair's latest news.
Ryanair is in the news quite a lot lately! 
 
On Friday September 15, the airline announced that up to 50 flights will be cancelled daily over the next six weeks. This has obviously caused uproar as it ruins people’s holiday plans, business trips, family events etc. Those whose flights are cancelled will be offered either a refund or an alternative flight. Customers aren’t taking this well at all, with some having to arrange other plans at extremely short notice and others being left stranded in airports abroad. 
 
A Ryanair spokesperson claimed that this will only affect a “small” number of customers, but the amount of people it will affect is by no means “small”/ It’s estimated that 285,000 journeys will be affected by this decision. If this is the case, roughly 9000 people a day will have their flights cancelled. 
 
People are obviously extremely upset and outraged by the cancellations which have left many people out of pocket. Although the airline is apparently offering refunds, some accommodations will not refund your payment at short notice and event tickets that were bought in anticipation of a holiday are no longer useful and cannot be returned.
 
The airlines punctuality has fallen from 90% to 80% during the first two weeks of September. They are hoping that by cancelling between 40 and 50 flights per day, the issue will soon be resolved. They also wish to cater for staff holidays, which is understandable -to a certain degree. Everyone is entitled to their holidays, but Ryanair should have been much more organised in the first place. One thing is for sure, this definitely won’t help their customer service standard.
 
Robin Kiely, who works for Ryanair has said that:
 
"by cancelling less than 2% of our flying programme over the next six weeks, (until our winter schedule starts in early November) we can improve the operational resilience of our schedules and restore punctuality to our annualised target of 90%. We apologise sincerely to the small number of customers affected by these cancellations, and will be doing our utmost to arrange alternative flights and/or full refunds for them."
 
Politicians are far from pleased with how Ryanair are handling the situation. Robert Troy, Fianna Fáil’s transport spokesperson, has expressed his disappointment by making it clear that he feels Ryanair has failed in their duties. "I'm really very disappointed in the manner in which this decision has been carried out and communicated to passengers. Passengers intending to travel today or over the weekend weren't given any warning to allow them to make alternative arrangements,” he said.
 
If your flight is cancelled, you will receive a text anywhere between the timeframe of a few hours to a day before your flight. Make sure to check your emails also, in case you receive notice through your email account. If your flight has been cancelled and you wish to receive a refund, this is where you should check here. Refunds can take up to seven working days.
 
If you are abroad, and your flight home gets cancelled you should make your own plans to travel home or else check Ryanair’s website for the next flight - and hope that there are empty seats. You can change your flight that has been cancelled free of charge. 
 
At a time like this, it is so important to know your rights. According to Independent.ie, “under the EU261 Regulation, Ryanair are required to provide meals and refreshments for the amount of time you are stranded, two phone calls or emails and hotel accommodation if it becomes necessary. They are also required to provide transport to that accommodation.” Be sure to make use of this regulation if you do end up stranded abroad! 
 
If you think this may affect you, be sure to keep up with announcements of cancelled flights, check your texts and emails, ensure you have a back-up plan and most importantly, know your rights!