Ryanair strike update: Airline has ‘blown’ chance of resolution for August 22 and 23

Ryanair has “blown” the chance of finding a resolution of staff strikes set to disrupt thousands of passengers on August 22 and 23. Pilots’ union BALPA has told how the budget airline’s choice to take the issue to the High Court, in an attempt to block the strike, will cull any attempt at a resolution. The Independent estimates 500,000 people with confirmed bookings are at risk of light cancellations on the August dates, as well as September 2, 3 and 4 when strikes are also scheduled. Passengers are awaiting an official comment from Ryanair, but with the Court case not set to be heard until tomorrow, it appears they will face an agonising wait.

BALPA told of the strike situation and said: “Ryanair has blown the chance of finding a resolution before this week’s strike action.

“Because Ryanair has wasted time with unnecessary court action, their chance to resolve the dispute involving their pilots has been lost.

“Instead Ryanair is relying on legal technicalities to try to persuade the High Court to block the strike.

“It’s also worrying to see Ryanair continue to sell tickets for strike days – are they prepared to offer compensation to passengers if they are affected?

“I think they should tell passengers exactly where they stand.”

Ryanair staff are striking following a ballot held earlier this summer.

They are walking out in a dispute over pay and working conditions at the low cost airline.

In addition, Ryanair cabin crew in Spain have planned 10 days of strikes in September.

Ryanair responded to the strike action dates and stated: “This is a time for Ryanair and our pilots to work together to get our customers to their destinations without disruption.”

It added: “An enforced series of base cuts and closures, some of these in the UK, and a no-deal Brexit is less than 10 weeks away”.

A Ryanair spokesperson today told Express.co.uk: “BALPA who represent a small number of highly paid UK pilots should not be disrupting the return holiday flights of UK families later this week when Ryanair Captains already earn £180,000 p.a and are now seeking unjustified pay increases of between 65% to 121%.”

Stuart Lloyd, Travel Expert at Columbus Direct told Express.co.uk this morning of the implications for potentially thousands of Britons who may be left without a flight.

He said: “Many of those heading off on holiday this Bank Holiday weekend will experience severe disruption due to Ryanair’s pilot strikes.

“As Ryanair is a European airline, if you are due to travel during this time and your flight is cancelled, you are protected under European Air Passenger Regulations.

“You have the option to take an alternative flight with the airline to your destination, or cancel your flight and claim a full refund. If the alternative flight Ryanair offer isn’t at the right time for you, Ryanair is legally required to book you on a comparable flight with them or an alternative airline.

“You should not incur any further charges for this.

“If you were given 14 days or less notice of your flight cancellation, you are entitled to compensation.

“However, if you were given more than 14 days’ notice you are only entitled to a refund or a new flight. But remember if you are notified of the cancellation more than 14 days before the flight and you take a refund from the airline, they no longer have a duty of care towards you.

“Any onward travel, or extra expense for new flights are your own responsibility if you decide to accept the refund – no compensation is owed.

“You can apply directly with Ryanair for compensation.

“The amount you’ll receive depends on the type of flight, when Ryanair notify you, how long you are left waiting for a substitute flight and how far you’re travelling, anything from €125-€600.”

He added: “Our advice would be take the option that gets to your desired destination the quickest. If you have the luxury of time, waiting for the next available flight may mean you get some additional financial compensation but it may keep you waiting longer at the airport.”

Travel data and analytics expert Cirium said the strikes could mark double trouble, in a statement to Express.co.uk which read: “Travellers could face a difficult day for flying this weekend as Britain’s busiest day for flights on Friday, 23 August, coincides with the start of the August Bank Holiday and a potential two-day strike by Ryanair’s UK pilots.

“According to travel data analytics expert Cirium, more than a quarter of a million passengers (259,000) flying on 1,714 UK flights with the Irish-based carrier from 22-23 August could be affected by the strike action; which accounts for 14 per cent of all departing UK flights over those two days.

“On 23 August – Britain’s busiest day for flying during 2019 – close to half a million UK travellers (468,000) are set to jet off on just over 3,562 departing scheduled flights.

“EasyJet is set to fly up to 84,000 customers on 613 flights from the UK on domestic and European routes.

“Meanwhile, British Airways is expected to carry up to 82,000 customers the same day on 583 long and short-haul flights, with up to 55,600 customers departing on 352 flights from its Heathrow hub.”

source: express.co.uk