Around 50,000 passengers across Europe are expected to be affected this weekend as Ryanair is forced to cancel almost 400 flights due to a 24-hour walkout by staff in five European countries over a dispute about pay and working conditions.
The Irish airline, which last year carried its one billionth passenger, is Europe’s biggest low-cost carrier.
It said in a statement that the action was “unjustified” and “regrettable”, but said that 85 percent of its flights would still be operated, and said that it had done all that it could to prevent the dispute escalating into industrial action, adding that the “majority of customers affected have already been re-accommodated on another Ryanair flight.”
But some people took to Twitter to complain at how Ryanair handled the debacle after their flights were canceled.
While #Ryanair is trending I can join in. @Ryanair cancelled my wife's flight for today and refunded. However, they won't refund her return flight which is booked for tomorrow as the "ticket is still usable"?? "We know you can't get there but you can at least get back"— mo (@chuuew) August 10, 2018
Strikes happen, I get it! But I feel disgusted by the lack of any willingness to answer reasonable questions about a re-route option and a lack of desire to help customers to get to their destination. I was supposed to go meet Britney Spears but can’t anymore because of @Ryanair pic.twitter.com/nqfDM4hqeL— FEIM (@FeimM_) August 10, 2018
Unions representing Ryanair staff said they want work rules to be governed by the laws of countries where employees are based, not the laws in Ireland where Ryanair is headquartered.
The action is the latest in a series of disagreements between Ryanair management and staff after the firm recognized its employee unions in late 2017 and entered into negotiations.
In July, around 300 flights were cancelled in similar strikes in Portugal, Spain and Belgium.