Ryanair issues warning to UK travellers amid French air traffic control strike

Ryanair has issued a warning to British travellers as the airline grapples with flight cancellations prompted by a strike from air traffic control workers in France, commencing on Monday, November 20.

A spokesperson for has outlined the potential risks for individuals booking package holidays, emphasizing the importance of understanding their rights in case of flight cancellations. The spokesperson notes that while package holiday bookings offer cost savings, passengers facing cancellations have rights to claim a full refund, request a reroute, and potentially seek compensation from the airline.

However, it’s highlighted that in situations involving air traffic control restrictions, such disruptions are considered “extraordinary circumstances” and thus do not qualify for compensation. In such cases, affected passengers are entitled to additional services from the airline, such as free meals and accommodation, depending on the length of the delay.

The spokesperson underscores that travel operators must promptly notify passengers in the event of package holiday cancellations, providing them with sufficient time to make alternative arrangements or seek refunds. Travelers stranded at the airport during a cancellation are advised to contact their travel company immediately to discuss available options.

In circumstances where the delay exceeds five hours without a cancellation, passengers have the right to choose not to travel and receive a full refund for their ticket.

For those facing the prospect of a canceled holiday, travel operators are obligated to offer an alternative if possible or a refund for the entire package, not just the flight portion.

Factors Influencing Decision:

Refund Amount: Passengers are advised to consider the financial appeal of a full refund, especially if uncertain about future travel plans.

Availability: Assess whether the alternative dates provided by the travel operator align with the original travel schedule.

Change Fees: Check if the travel operator is waiving any change fees for rescheduling, as this could impact the decision-making process.

Travel Insurance: Review travel insurance policies to determine coverage for cancellations or changes due to unforeseen circumstances.

The spokesperson for emphasizes that passengers receiving less than 14 days’ notice of cancellation can claim compensation. Compensation amounts vary based on flight distance, ranging from £220 / €250 for shorter flights to £520 / €600 for longer flights.

Passengers are encouraged to be aware of their rights and carefully consider these factors when deciding between a refund or rescheduling in light of flight cancellations.