Ryanair says 55% of passengers affected by cancellations have been rebooked
Airline blames ‘mess-up’ in rostering for forced cancellations of thousands of flights
Ryanair spokesman Kenny Jacobs said the airline apologised sincerely to passengers affected by ‘this short term rostering failure’. File photograph: Neil Hall/ EPA
Over 95 per cent of those caught up in Ryanair’s rolling programme of flight cancellations will either have been accomodated on other flights or given refunds by the end of this week, the airline has claimed.
In a mid-week update on its handling of the cancellation of 2,100 of its 103,000 flights over the next six weeks, a Ryanair spokesman said the company expected to have rebooked more than half of the affected customers on other flights with the airline by the close of business on Wednesday with a further 20 per cent issued refunds.
It said it expects to have “re-accommodated over 175,000 customers on other Ryanair flights – over 55 per cent of affected customers” before Thursday while “more than 63,000 flight refunds will have been processed.”
“The airline has taken on extra customer service staff to expedite the backlog of flight change requests and refunds.
“Ryanair expects to have processed over 300,000 alternative routings or refunds for customers (over 95 per cent of affected customers) by the end of this week – within six days of customers being notified of these flight cancellations.”
The airline blamed its own “mess-up” in rostering that has led to pilots taking holiday leave in September and October, and forced the cancellation of about 50 flights a day across Europe for the next six weeks.
Pilots at Ryanair are being offered up to €12,000 in bonuses to forgo annual leave in an attempt to close the gaps in work rosters.
Ryanair spokesman Kenny Jacobs said the airline apologised sincerely to passengers affected by “this short term rostering failure”.
“The vast majority of these requests are being dealt with online, but as our call centres and chat lines are extremely busy, we ask affected customers to bear with us as we do everything we can to respond to their requests and try to resolve any problems we have created for them, for which we again sincerely apologise,” he said.
Meanwhile, it emerged this morning that Ryanair was not refunding some passengers hit by cancellations the amounts they had already paid for checked-in bags and allocated seating.
Instead it was making such passengers who were rebooking as a result of cancellations pay a second time for those extras.
“We have resolved this issue, which only affected a small number of customers, and anyone who has been charged twice will be refunded,” a spokesman said.