Friday 23 February 2018

Ryanair customers bombard firm with complaints after latest batch of cancellations

Furious Ryanair customers have bombarded the firm with complaints and questions following the latest batch of flight cancellations.

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Furious Ryanair customers have bombarded the firm with complaints and questions following the latest batch of flight cancellations.

Newlyweds going on honeymoon, families and rugby fans hoping to watch Six Nations games abroad are among those angry after the firm axed 34 routes between November and March

Jez Thompson, 58, from Nottingham, had planned since 2015 to go with five friends to Italy to watch England's rugby union team play in the Six Nations Championship on February 4.

But their plan was left in tatters after their February 3 flight from East Midlands to the Italian capital - booked as soon as it became available - was among those axed.

Mr Thompson, a self-employed contractor for a stairlift firm, said he learned of the cancellation via an email from Ryanair.

He told the Press Association: "It's two years of anticipation ruined at the touch of a send key.

"We paid £300 return each - which I thought was expensive anyway. Flights are now up to £475 each.

"We are disappointed but we just hope that one of the other airlines may take up some of the slack that Ryanair has left behind. There will be thousands of fans planning to get to Rome."

Mr Thompson said the group had been offered the chance to rebook but the only Rome flight available was on the day of the game.

So any delays would mean they risked missing the afternoon match at the Stadio Olimpico.

The group now face either finding a more expensive and longer route - perhaps flying to Turin or Milan before driving - or not going and cancelling their hotel booking.

Ryanair announced routes axed over the winter season would include popular journeys such as London Stansted to Edinburgh and Glasgow, Gatwick to Belfast, Newcastle to Faro, and Glasgow to Las Palmas.

Karen McDerment, from Patna in Ayrshire, wrote on the airline's Facebook page that the situation was a "complete joke".

She said: "Are Ryanair going to pay the £535 that I am going to lose for my accommodation over new year?

"Doubt it ... can't even contact them on any of the links provided on their very matter of fact email. Ryanair = couldn't care ... would rather pay a bit more in future than give you another penny."

Ed Williams also described the situation as a "complete joke".

He wrote: "Got 16 flights cancelled, three different booking numbers. So can't just re-book without knowing there's enough room for us all.

"Five minutes talking to someone and this could be resolved. Six hours of phoning waiting live chat and still no joy."

The airline has apologised for the cancellations, saying they "deeply regret" if anyone now doubts their reliability.

A spokesman said: "We sincerely apologise to those customers who have been affected by last week’s flight cancellations, or the sensible schedule changes announced yesterday.

"While over 99% of our 129m customers will not have been affected by any cancellations or disruptions, we deeply regret any doubt we caused existing customers last week about Ryanair’s reliability, or the risk of further cancellations.

"All of the passengers who have been affected by these disruptions have already been offered re-accommodation or full refunds and their applicable EU261 entitlements.

"In addition today, they are receiving a travel voucher (€40 one way/€80 return) which they may use to book any Ryanair flight of their choice during October for travel between October and March 2018. We look forward to welcoming them all on board."

Press Association

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