Wednesday 21 February 2018

'There's no point in stressing... but it is annoying' - young family forced to cut holiday short after Ryanair cancels flights

Mum Sandra Whelan Purcell said:
Mum Sandra Whelan Purcell said: "We were flying to Barcelona on Friday evening with Ryanair, just before take off I checked my phone and had an email saying our flight was cancelled"

Kathy Armstrong

Young families, couples and even a bride-to-be have voiced their concern about Ryanair's last-minute cancellations.

The no-frills airline has come under fire after cancelling up to 50 flights a day for the next six weeks to help them to facilitate a reduction in a backlog of holidays for staff and has said that passengers will be reimbursed.

Ryanair's Kenny Jacob said: "We will cancel 40 to 50 flights daily for the next six weeks, (less than 2pc of our schedule) with a slightly higher number this weekend as we begin to implement these cancellations.”

Sporting plans cancelled, rescheduled business trips and being stranded in airports are just some of the stories readers have shared.

Sandra Whelan Purcell

A young family were forced to cut their holiday in Spain short when their flight home was cancelled. 

Mum Sandra Whelan Purcell said: "We were flying to Barcelona on Friday evening with Ryanair, just before take off I checked my phone and had an email saying our flight was cancelled.

"It had the booking reference on it, not the flight number and we knew our flight was pretty delayed so I assumed it was about that, we were still getting emails telling us to check in for our return flight.

"We continued on our journey and then all of this came out, our return flight was due to be this evening and we saw last night that our flight was cancelled.

"We were lucky that we were staying with friends and they were helping us look for a different flight, everything was booked on Ryanair until Thursday but it's not feasible for us to stay, myself and my husband have jobs and the kids have school.

"When we checked on Skyscanner some of the airlines were charging crazy rates because it's so last minute.

"We did find one though with a stop over in Amsterdam that's not too bad."

While Sandra emphasised that she isn't stressed about the cancellation so long as they get home to Wicklow, she did say it's inconvenient.

She said: "At the end of the day there's no point in stressing, you need to take it in your stride.

"It's just annoying that we came to Barcelona to spend time with friends and we'd stuff planned but now we've lost a day and had to come home early."

Sharon Callan

Sharon was disappointed she didn't get to come to Dublin for the All-Ireland final

Loyal Mayo GAA fan Sharon Callan and her husband were excited to be in Dublin for the All-Ireland final yesterday and were disappointed when their flight was cancelled.

Sharon, who is from Mayo but lives in Sussex, said she was sad that she was hopeful she would get a ticket to cheer on her team but her plans was scuppered.

She told "I'm absolutely gutted, before the semi-final we said if we got into the final we would go and spend the weekend in Dublin so it's something we had been thinking about for a while.

"I didn't have a ticket but we thought we might be able to get one in Dublin.

"Even if we didn't get to go to Croke Park we thought it would get to see neighbours, soak up the atmosphere in Dublin and just enjoy the weekend.

"I have heard of people not getting any notice that their flight was cancelled but we got an email on Friday morning saying our Saturday night flight was cancelled.

"It was over 24 hours but unfortunately the hotel requires 72 hours so that's left us out of pocket."

Sharon admits that the incident would put her off flying with Ryanair in the future.

She said: "I usually fly to Knock with Aer Lingus but the timing of this flight suited me.

"It would definitely put me off booking with them, if I was going somewhere that another airline was going to I'd go with them, I'll be avoiding Ryanair for definite.

"Aer Lingus are so much better, they're reliable and they're cheap enough.

"I have kids and when you're going away somewhere you just want to enjoy it and not have to worry about things like this."

Read More: 'It is clearly a mess...we sincerely apologise' - Ryanair CEO Michael O'Leary

Read More: Under-fire Ryanair pressed to release full list of flights to be cancelled


Planning a wedding is notoriously stressful for many but that's been amplified for bride-to-be Tracey, who fears her Spanish nuptials might not go to plan.

Tracey, who is from Westmeath, is due to walk down the aisle in two weeks but now fears her guests might not be able to travel to it via Ryanair.

Speaking on Liveline on RTE Radio One, she said: "I'm due to get married on October 2, so we're smack bang in the middle of that two week period.

"There's now an uncertainty about our guests and ourselves getting to Benalmádena for our big day.

"We're heard absolutely nothing, we're completely in the dark.

"We're from Westmeath and we have people travelling all the way from Australia for the wedding.

"We have paid for the wedding in full so postponing it isn't an option, we're hanging in limbo and just waiting to find out if our flight will be cancelled."

She said that 90 of her 115 guests have booked to fly to Spain with Ryanair and some have started to look at alternative options.

She said: "My sister has been looking up other flights for herself and her husband their three young children.

"With Ryanair their flights were €840 and the same flight with another airline is €1,740, so over double.

"I'm a stressy person and planning a wedding is a stressful time, this doesn't help.

"Between us all it's a lot of money and our guests have paid for their accommodation and that's non-refundable, so that's a big weight on our shoulders.

"I suppose we went with Ryanair because they'd the cheapest fares, the best times and they'd always seemed so reliable, it's totally changed my mind about them.

"They're messing with people's lives, it's our big day that we've been planning for 18 months, it's every girl's dream and for something like this to come up is awful, it's not a normal holdiay."

Andrea Ni Ealaithe

A skincare company is out of pocket after they were forced to book six flights to Paris last-minute after their journey with Ryanair was cancelled, they claimed.

Andrea Ni Ealaithe works in marketing for the Irish branch of Matis Skincare and called the situation a "nightmare."

She told "It's our third-level college partners and we run a competition with them every year  for the Matis students of the year, they work for it for the whole academic year and we bring the three winners to the head office in Paris.

"They visit the factory and the laboratory to see all the products, it's a two day intense visit.

"When we got the email Saturday to say the departing flight on Wednesday was cancelled it was a bit of a nightmare, we're just trying to find out what our rights are.

"We just had to book new flights, the options were either book the day before and pay for extra accommodation for six people or go that evening and lose a day of training.

"We managed to book flights for the same day with a different airline but we're definitely out of pocket a lot.

"We're concerned about what compensation will be there, this is out of budget so we just hope we're compensated.

"It's a late flight Thursday night and we have been told it's still going to fly as scheduled but they haven't released the full list of cancelled flights, so I'm not going to take their word for it, I'm sure they could still cancel at the last minute."

As well as not wanting to lose out on the exciting business opportunity, she said that the winners are worried while their travel plans are up in the air.

Andrea, who is from Kerry but lives in Dublin, said: "It's terrible for the girls, they're only 18 or 19 and are so excited, I know one of the girls cancelled a different holiday to do this, they're all very concerned but hopefully it will all be sorted.

"It's annoying that Ryanair must have known this was coming down the line but didn't tell us, I think if they get away with it they'll just do it again down the line."

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