Which? responds to Ryanair flight cancellations

Alex Neill, Which? Managing Director of Home Products and Services, said:

“Ryanair’s cancellation of hundreds of flights at short notice is ​a nightmare​ for its passengers, ​with​ thousands facing huge inconvenience and ​many more ​left in the dark ​with no idea whether their flights will be affected or not.

“​Ryanair must urgently publish ​the full schedule of impacted flights​. Until this​ is released, ​it​ should let passengers cancel their flights without penalty. It must also honour its legal duty to arrange ​​alternative flights or provide a full refund, ​inform passengers of their rights and proactively ​pay compensation and reimburse reasonable out of pocket expenses.

“This highlights once again the need for automatic compensation across the industry. Ryanair should now take the initiative and ​pay out​ to ​passengers ​it knows are entitled to compensation without ​making people jump through hoops​.”


  • We are calling on Ryanair to make sure people are rebooked on to flights, refunded for reasonable additional expenses due to re-routing, and paid the statutory compensation that many passengers will be legally entitled to under the Denied Boarding Regulations

Beyond the Denied Boarding Regulations rules, Which? wants Ryanair to:

  • release a full list of flights that will be affected so that passengers have as much time as possible to make alternate arrangements
  • allow people to cancel their future flights without any penalty until this list is published
  • proactively inform passengers of their rights and to quickly and automatically compensate anyone who is affected
  • pay out of pocket expenses for people who have had to face additional costs as a result of the delays suffered on a re-routed flight.

Passenger rights

  • For those passengers who are currently stranded, they will be entitled to statutory compensation (including accommodation, travel etc if they are being re-routed).
  • Any passengers travelling in under two weeks will be entitled to compensation, unless they have been put on a similar flight (similar time, same day etc) at no extra cost.
  • If the re-routed flight arrives at its destination within 2 hours of the original flight (for short haul), 3 hours (for medium haul) and 4 hours (for long haul), Ryanair may reduce the compensation by 50%.

In July, Which? analysis of Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) data found that where passengers took a compensation complaint against Ryanair to the regulator, Ryanair were in the wrong in 77% of cases. They then failed to pay out in 19% of cases despite being ruled against

Passengers can find out more about their rights for a cancelled flight at http://www.which.co.uk/consumer-rights

Automatic compensation campaign – https://campaigns.which.co.uk/upgrade-airline-compensation/