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Ryanair 2018 summer strike: know your rights: refund, rebooking and compensation

Ryanair will be cancelling more than 1000 flights this summer.

Here is everything you need to know about the strikes; what to do if your flight is cancelled and whether you're can claim compensation.

When will Ryanair pilots be on strike?

(updated on August 17th, 2018)

  • July 12: Ryanair pilots who are members of the Irish trade union walked out for the first time.

  • July 20: A second strike took place and more than 4,000 passengers had their flights between Ireland and the UK cancelled.

  • July 25 and 26: Unions representing cabin crews in Spain, Portugal and Belgium marked the third walkout. The Italian crews striked for one day on July 25.

  • August 3rd: Irish-based pilots strike again.

  • August 10: Ryanair's German pilots join their colleagues in Ireland, Sweden and Belgium. The German strike took place from 3.01 am on Friday, August 10, until 2.59 am on Saturday, August 11. 250 German flights are affected, along with 104 to or from Belgium, 22 Swedish and 20 Irish. Pilots in the Netherlands also joined the dispute but guaranteed that “...all of our flights to/from the Netherlands will operate as scheduled on Friday 10 August. There will be no cancellations as a result of the unnecessary strike action by the Dutch pilot union (VNV-DALPA) in the Netherlands.

How to check if my flight is affected?

Ryanair said that anyone due to travel who has not been contacted by SMS or email should expect to travel as scheduled. See Ryanair’s statement on twitter here.

The best way to know whether your flight is cancelled is to check its status on Ryanair's website here:

What are my options if my Ryanair flight is cancelled?

Pursuant to the EU 261 Regulation, air passengers affected by Ryanair’s 2018 summer strike are entitled to choose between a refund or a free rerouting flight.

  • The refund option

You are entitled to a reimbursement within seven days, of the full cost of the ticket at the price at which it was bought, for the part or parts of the journey not made, and for the part or parts already made if the flight is no longer serving any purpose in relation to your original travel plan, together with, when relevant, a return flight to the first point of departure, at the earliest opportunity. (See article 8 of the Regulation (ec) no 261/2004 of the european parliament and of the council of 11 February 2004).

  • The rerouting option

If you decide to travel, you are entitled to: 1. a re-routing, under comparable transport conditions, to your final destination at the earliest opportunity; or 2. a re-routing, under comparable transport conditions, to your final destination at a later date at your convenience, subject to availability of seats.

Because many flights are already fully booked, a rerouting with Ryanair might not be possible. If you consider to rebook yourself with another airline, please consider the following.

Rebooking yourself: the pros and cons

First of all, Weclaim knows that Ryanair managed to re-book many affected passengers on other rival airlines in order to minimise travel disruptions during last autumn cancellation. Ryanair has set a precedent by doing so last autumn and therefore, passengers should expect the same this summer. If Ryanair cannot offer a satisfactory rebooking plan, passengers may consider rebooking themselves. Rebooking yourself is very appealing because it might save your travel plans. If you decide to do that, note that in order to claim a full refund of your new tickets, you will need to prove that Ryanair did not offer a reasonable rerouting option.

Weclaim’s worldclass legal travel experts therefore advise that you wait for Ryanair to communicate - in written - any offer they have first and then book yourself if Ryanair’s offers are not satisfactory. If you rebook yourself, you are entitled to claim a refund of the rerouting flight(minus the refund if already refunded by Ryanair, if applicable).

Conclusion: It is a risky strategy to book yourself and look for reimbursement later if you haven’t written evidence that Ryanair failed to offer an alternative flight “under comparable transport conditions, to your final destination, in a reasonable delay”.

What if I am stuck overnight while awaiting for my rerouting flight?

Air passengers stuck overnight due to Ryanair’s strike are entitled to:

  • meals and refreshments in a reasonable relation to the waiting time;
  • hotel accommodation in cases where a stay of one or more nights becomes necessary, until Ryanair can get you to your chosen destination;
  • transport between the airport and your place of accommodation;
  • free of charge: two telephone calls, telex or fax messages, or e-mails.

See Article 9 of the Regulation (ec) no 261/2004 of the european parliament and of the council of 11 February 2004 for more details.

What should I do if I am stranded abroad?

Pursuant to EU 261 Regulation , Ryanair is liable to pay for the cost of a hotel and subsistence for all those stranded as a result, until a replacement flight is provided.

If you had to buy your own food and accommodation, keep all receipts and we will be able to claim a refund for you. See Article 9 of the Regulation (ec) no 261/2004 of the european parliament and of the council of 11 February 2004 for more details.

Can I claim the EU261 compensation if my flight is cancelled due to Ryanair 2018 summer strike?

Yes. But you will have to be patient and might have to go to court because Ryanair officially said they won’t pay the EU261 Compensation. Good news is, we can help you. Here’s why: Ryanair has repeatedly said it will not pay compensation **because the cancellations were allegedly due to “extraordinary circumstances”. Ryanair said: “Under EU261 legislation, no compensation is due when the union is acting unreasonably and totally beyond the airline's control.

We disagree with Ryanair.

Both in Germany, France and other European countries, courts have ruled in favor of passengers in the case of a flight disruption caused by an internal strike. See more details in this dedicated post from our travel legal experts.

Weclaim fully understands that the idea of a refund is nowhere near satisfactory as you have booked your summer trips months ago and the ticket refund amount won’t be much help in booking a new trip as the cost of flights will be considerably higher on last minute. We will fight for your rights. Start a claim with us today.

My flight has been cancelled - can I cancel my accommodation?

If you have booked a hotel, an Airbnb, a villa or any other type of accommodation independently of your travel arrangements (i.e not as part of a package holiday), any cancellation is governed by the terms and conditions that apply to your booking. Do your best to persuade them to give you a refund or rebook for a later date, but note that they are under no obligation to do this and you may lose your money.

What about package holidays?

Pursuant to Directive EU 2015/2302 of the european parliament and of the council of 25 november 2015, those of you on package holidays should be looked after by their tour operator. The Directive EU 2015/2302 provides that the tour operator is legally obliged to provide the services and therefore get you to your final destination.

If a significant proportion of your vacation plans cannot be provided, the tour operator has to offer, at no extra cost, suitable alternative arrangement. If the proposed alternative arrangements result in a package of lower quality, you are entitled to a price reduction.

If the tour operator does not remedy the travel disruption within a reasonable period set by you, you may do so yourself and request reimbursement of the necessary expenses.

If you end up sustaining any damage as a result of any disruption you are entitled to cash compensation from the tour operator. Compensation has to be paid without undue delay.

Note that your right to compensation or price reduction under the Directive EU 2015/2302 does not affect your rights under Regulation EU 261/2004. You are entitled to present claims under this Directive and under the EU 261/2004.
Note that compensation or price reduction granted under Directive EU 2015/2302 and the compensation granted under Regulation EU 261/2004 shall be deducted from each other in order to avoid overcompensation. Be aware of the deadlines: the limitation period for introducing claims under Directive EU 2015/2302 depends on the country having jurisdiction to hear your case but it will never be less than two years.

Weclaim has been helping the travel community since 2015. 0 conflicts of interest. 0 compromise. We will defend your rights tooth and nail.

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by Frédéric PELOUZE, Weclaim Founder & Director

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