Friday 20 October 2017

'I am heartbroken' - Irish granny's trip to see new grandchild gone amid Ryanair cancellations

A Ryanair plane at Stansted Airport. Photo: Chris Radburn/PA Wire
A Ryanair plane at Stansted Airport. Photo: Chris Radburn/PA Wire

Deborah McAleese

Furious Ryanair travellers have demanded that the budget airline provide immediate clarity over cancelled flights.

The airline has only published a list for Sunday despite announcing cancellations of between 1,500 to 2,000 flights over the next six weeks.

Four Dublin and 11 London flights are among 82 flights cancelled on Sunday.

The airline said it sent an email to anybody who was booked on a flight up to and including Wednesday September 20 which has been cancelled but it has not said when people are booked to travel after that date will be notified.

Passengers have accused the airline of treating them "appallingly" and demanded it publishes a full list of the flights to be cancelled over the next six weeks.

Grandmother Karen Litton was due to fly from Knock to Stansted to meet her first granddaughter on Wednesday.

However, the Ireland based estate agent has been left devastated after Ryanair cancelled her flight.

"I am heartbroken.

"I was due to fly over to meet my new granddaughter Margot on Wednesday.

"I was going to spend a week with my daughter to help out as her husband is starting back to work after his paternity leave. We are all so disappointed," she said.

Mrs Litton said she has been unable to contact the airline to re-book her flights or apply for compensation.

"It is very frustrating. Everything seems to have just physically shut down.

"Every time I try to go on the website to re-book flights it doesn't let me.

"I have tried to submit a claim form but it won't let me put in my flight number. And the live help facility has been withdrawn.

"I would fly Ryanair about once a month. I was always very pro Ryanair.

"Knock airport is just a 40 minute drive away for me and their times always suited me but how they are treating people now is a disgrace.

"There are people in much worse situations than myself.

"There are young girls stranded in foreign countries, maybe with no extra money or credit cards. Customers are being treated appallingly."

Many passengers have taken to social media in an attempt to contact Ryanair to find out if their flights have been cancelled.

"It is just disgraceful that Ryanair won't tell people if their flights have been cancelled.

"A full list should be made available immediately so that people can make alternative plans," said Mrs Litton.

On Saturday the airline announced it was cancelling up to 50 flights daily for the next six weeks after it "messed up" the planning of pilot holidays.

Kenny Jacobs, chief marketing officer, said the company was "working hard to fix" the problem, after it announced a 2% reduction in scheduled flights until the end of October.

Some customers said last-minute cancellations had left them out-of-pocket due to non-refundable accommodation costs, or with no choice but to book expensive alternative flights or transport.

Others said they had been left stranded in their holiday destination.

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