Just like a blast from the past, Ryanair’s UK pilots are going on a strike. Flyers can expect massive disruptions at the end of August and the start of September.
The Ryanair strike will last five days: Thursday 22 and Friday 23 of August 2019 and on Monday 2, Tuesday 3 and Wednesday 4 of September 2019. The choice of days is deliberate: this is a busy time for UK aviation, as many British families are flying home to the UK from their Mediterranean vacations. Expect many a Ryanair cancelled flight.
“Our claim includes many issues including pensions; loss-of-licence insurance; maternity benefits; allowances; and a fair, transparent, and consistent pay structure,” a British Airline Pilots Association (Balpa) rep told the press. “We have made no progress with Ryanair management on any of those areas at all, seemingly because Ryanair management cannot understand how to go about working with us constructively, or how to negotiate.” Overall, more than 56% of union members voted for the stoppage.
As always, air passengers affected by delays or cancellations have all the usual rights granted to them under Regulation (EC) 261/2004. For delays lasting more than two hours, the airline has to provide you with free meals and drinks. You should also be allowed to make two free calls, use email or send a free fax. If you have to wait for the flight for one or more nights, the carrier has to provide you with free accommodation at a hotel, including transport to/from the airport. In case they’re unable/unwilling to do this, save the receipts: all “rational” expenses (no VIP penthouses, caviar or limos) should be refunded afterwards.
Normally, airline strikes and wildcat strikes are not considered grounds for awarding flight compensation, even though it’s Skycop’s opinion that delayed or cancelled flight compensation should apply to strikes of airline personnel. After all, the airlines should take care of them even better than they take care of the material aspects of the flight operation.
Ryanair strikes of August 2019 just continues the trend that took off in 2018. The airline hadn’t experienced strikes until December 2017, when flight cancellations in September caused them to mobilize. Ryanair promised to recognize employee unions, but the progress was negligible, and the strikes intensified in spring, reaching a fever pitch in summer and autumn 2018.
Flights are disrupted by strikes more often than you would think. If you would like to learn exactly how often that’s the case, hop over to our airline, airport strike and flight incident list for 2019 and find out.