Friday 20 July 2018

'It's not just a holiday, it's more than that' - Family of woman who recently finished chemo fear Ryanair strike will 'ruin' trip

The family booked the trip to Salou last year Photo: Flickr
The family booked the trip to Salou last year Photo: Flickr

Conor McCrave

The family of a woman who has spent the last number of months battling cancer fear their planned holiday to Spain could be ruined if a Ryanair pilot strike goes ahead next week.

Peter Gallagher, his wife and three kids are due to fly to Salou on Thursday at 6.30am.

They had booked the holiday last year, just before Peter's wife was diagnosed with breast cancer in November 2017.

She has now finished chemotherapy and the family were looking forward to their break away after an extremely difficult time.

Mr Gallagher said his family were "hit hard" by the news that the holiday might not happen following the strike announcement yesterday.

"It’s devastating news really," he told RTÉ Radio One’s Liveline today. 

"We’ve had our own issues here; for us it’s not just a holiday really it’s been more than that. It’s a target really, something to look forward to."

Peter’s sister-in-law had also planned to take her own family with them on the holiday.

As confirmation of whether the strike will go ahead or not is expected next Tuesday, two days before they are due to fly, he said it would cost too much to arrange alternative travel arrangements.

“We can’t afford to fork out for more flights for this many people and then find out it was the wrong move to make,” he said.

“Hopefully there is a flight the same day or worst case the next. If not, if it is a refund, I don’t know how long that takes to process. And you’ll not get other flights”.

Another caller to the show, Anton, said he was expecting to fly to Spain on Thursday for a wedding that he couldn’t miss.

“I’m calling them all day, all night and they keep saying ‘please hold’. Then it goes to ‘our lines are too busy’ and they hang up," he said.

As he felt left with “no other option", he said he booked flights with another airline which was flying out two days earlier, resulting in the need to also book additional accommodation.

“All in all it set me back close to €500,” he said of the additional arrangements he had to make.

In a statement this afternoon, the airline said it has “written to Forsa asking them to call off next week’s strike, since they already have our proposals on base transfers and a seniority list, and have been invited to meet Ryanair to discuss them.

"FORSA have no reason to unnecessarily disrupt our customers’ flights next Thursday."

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