Aer Lingus passengers advised to change plans over strike
MORE than 30,000 Aer Lingus passengers have been advised to cancel or change their flight plans scheduled for May 30 due to industrial action at the airline.
Travel chaos looms after the trade union Impact served notice of the one-day action to Aer Lingus management this week following a long-running dispute over rosters.
A spokesperson for the airline last night told the Irish Independent that around 30,000 passengers would be affected by the industrial action with over 200 flights set to be cancelled due to the 24-hour stoppage.
The action will affect flights in Dublin, Shannon and Cork airports from one minute after midnight on Friday, May 30, which is the beginning of the June Bank Holiday weekend.
The passengers received text messages from the airline yesterday advising them to change or cancel their flight plans and said the additional services would be put on the day before the expected strike where possible in an effort to limit the travel chaos.
Aer Lingus says some flights will not be affected by the industrial action, including all regional services. Flights to and from Belfast and the affected airports will operate as normal as will those to London Gatwick.
Transatlantic flights to Dublin from New York and Chicago will also operate as normal after the airline was able to hire additional craft for these flights.
However, the statement on the website warns of "major disruption" and has advised passengers a full refund will be offered to those who cancel their flights.
One passenger, who is due to travel to a wedding in France, said he was "deeply unhappy" to be informed of the situation by text at 8.30pm on a Friday evening.
"The text just said they couldn't guarantee the flight and advised us to change but we're part of a huge wedding party and the wedding is the next day," he said. "We'll miss it if we can't rearrange for the day before."
He said he had been advised extra capacity would be catered for the day before but said there would be "huge demand for that on a bank holiday weekend. I don't know what to do now because Ryanair flights are like €250 each way. It's a total nightmare."
The dispute centres on calls by Aer Lingus cabin crew for a roster similar to those for pilots at the airline, which would see them work five days followed by three rest days.
A full list of affected flights is available on www.aer lingus.com.