Ireland’s budget airline, Ryanair, has not had the best year following a major error during its busiest time of year where too many pilots where granted annual leave and thousands of flights had to be cancelled. But now, pilots from Ryanair’s Irish, Italian and German base are threatening to strike just days before Christmas meaning planes and crew may not be in the right place ready to carry those travelling over the festive period.
Ryanair have promised it is only a small group of pilots that are expected to strike and therefore the disruption will be limited however if it does go ahead passengers caught up in the strike will understandably feel frustrated and those who are stuck abroad may be worried about getting home.
If either of these are the case, what steps can you take?
If your outbound flight was cancelled or delayed:
In this instance, your airline should be your first port of call. Although they are not likely to offer any additional compensation for food and accommodation, due to nature of the delay, the airline has a duty, if they cancel your flight, to either refund any unused tickets, or re-book you onto the next available flight.
If you have booked your flights and accommodation independently and your flight is cancelled or delayed, preventing you from reaching your accommodation on time, you will need to speak to your accommodation provider about the possibility of re-booking your stay or if you are unable to reach your destination, a refund – however, this may not be possible.
If you are abroad and cannot get home:
Under EU regulations, the airline is responsible for rearranging your flight home and providing additional accommodation if needed. It is advised you check with your airline provider as this may differ between airlines.
Those who have booked a package holiday should contact their travel agent or tour operator. The travel company have a responsibility to provide you with additional accommodation until a flight is available.
What will travel insurance cover?
Check your policy wording carefully as many travel insurance providers do not cover for claims due to strike or industrial action.
If you have purchased a policy which includes strike or industrial action cover – before the strike was announced – you may be entitled to a small amount of compensation for each 12-hour period your flight is delayed or cover for cancellation if your flight is delayed by more than 24 hours. Beware, this cover isn’t regularly available on all travel insurance policies, so it is worth checking your policy wording before you purchase if this cover is something you require.