Ryanair has revealed it’s been forced to cancel 150 flights taking place this Friday (28th September) ahead of cabin crew strikes set to take place across Europe.
The airline has said that all affected customers received e-mails and texts this morning advising them of the cancellations.
It had originally said that 190 flights would be cancelled but this was reduced to 150, which the airline claims make up just eight per cent of 2,400 scheduled flights – but this will no doubt provide no comfort to the thousands of holidaymakers whose travel plans have been thrown into disarray.
The airline is currently facing strikes from cabin crew across Spain, Belgium, Holland, Portugal, Italy and Germany after it failed to reach an agreement during negotiations with unions.
It claims to have reached out to these unions to try and negotiate agreements similar to those it is negotiating with pilot and/or cabin crew in Ireland, the UK, Italy and Germany.
It’s worth noting that it’s not just Ryanair cabin crew who are striking, as the unions represent a host of airlines.
Ryanair’s Kenny Jacobs said: "We sincerely apologise to those customers affected by these unnecessary strikes on Friday, which we have done our utmost to avoid, given that we have already offered these unions recognition agreements, Collective Labour Agreements, and a move to local contracts/law in 2019.
"These repeated unnecessary strikes are damaging Ryanair’s business and our customer confidence at a time when oil prices are rising strongly, and if they continue, it is inevitable that we will have to look again at our capacity growth this winter and in summer 2019.
"We hope these unions will see common sense and work with us to finalise agreements for the benefit of our pilots and cabin crew over the coming weeks without further disrupting our customers or our flights.
"When we can successfully do deals with unions in Ireland, the UK, Germany and Italy, why are some unions in Belgium, Holland and Spain not doing similar deals?"
Here’s everything you need to know about the strikes…
When is the strike?
The industrial action will take place on Friday 28th September 2018.
Who is taking part?
Members of cabin crew from eight unions will be striking across Spain, Belgium, Holland, Portugal, Italy and Germany. It’s worth noting that not all of the cabin crew is Ryanair, but that some of their staff are members of the striking unions and therefore joining the walk outs.
Why are they striking?
The main issue seems to be surrounding labour laws, with unions requesting contracts for employees that fall under their own countries’ labour laws. At the moment they are employed under the likes of Irish contracts meaning they don’t necessarily fall under their local laws.
However, Ryanair says it has "already offered these unions recognition agreements, Collective Labour Agreements, and a move to local contracts/law in 2019" – and again, it’s not just Ryanair staff going on strike, but the general unions who represent staff across a host of airlines.
How will I know if my flight affected?
There isn’t a definitive Ryanair cancelled flights full list, but the airline says it has contacted all customers who have been affected, via e-mail or text message. If you are due to fly on Friday and haven’t been contacted then your flight should still be going ahead. If you’re unsure you can double check by contacting Ryanair’s help centre.
Am I entitled to compensation if my flight is cancelled?
Ryanair has said that it won’t be offering compensation to affected customers – but the airline says that it did offer affected customers the option of a refund or a free transfer to another flight.
In a statement the airline said: "Under EU261 legislation, no compensation is payable to customers when the (strike) delay/cancellation is beyond the airline’s control. If these strikes, by a tiny minority of Ryanair crew, were within Ryanair’s control, there would be no strikes and no cancellations.
"In recent years during which there were over 15 days of pilot and cabin crew strikes in Germany, Lufthansa was not required to pay EU261 compensation. Similarly, the UK CAA should also explain why it took no EU261 action against BA during last year’s cabin crew strikes."
However, if you’ve been affected and think you’re entitled to compensation, you can still submit a claim with Ryanair itself, even though they have said that they won’t pay.
Then if you are not satisfied with Ryanair’s response, you can choose to take your claim to the Alternative Dispute Resolution service – find out more on the Civil Aviation Authority website.
You can also find out more about your rights to compensation in Mirror Money’s flight delays and cancellations guide.
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