Flybe has cancelled at least 24 flights, affecting thousands of passengers. Operational issues such as staff shortages are to blame – and it makes the disruption eligible for flight compensation.
On Tuesday evening, passengers were notified by text and email that their flights had been cancelled. 10 flight cancellations occurred in Belfast City alone, with Birmingham and Southampton being the rest of the core Flybe airports struck by these disruptions. The issues are also affecting Manchester, Edinburgh and Cardiff.
Photo by Flybe.
As always, air passengers suffering from these cancelled flights should know that they have rights granted to them under Regulation (EC) 261/2004. 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.
The official statement by Flybe claims that the flight cancellations are due to pilot shortages, staff scheduling issues, base restructuring and so on. Since none of these conditions is considered extraordinary under Regulation (EC) 261/2004, those affected by flight cancellations can and should claim compensation. This means that you can get up to €600 in compensation! For more information about flight cancellation compensation (heh, it rhymes), check here.
Flybe has had a rough time as of late, and it was saved from financial trouble only via the intervention of a consortium of Virgin Atlantic, Stobart Air and a US hedge fund. It is rumoured that the airline is cutting crews and planes to be profitable. Pilots are furious, as the company shares they received instead of pay raises are now nearly worthless. Meanwhile, there is a continuing pilot shortage in the industry, which makes it easy to find a new job.