- Video report by ITV News Consumer Editor Chris Choi
Ryanair have published the full list of flights cancelled by the airline over the the next six weeks.
Due to rostering errors, the airline has cancelled up to 50 flights a day over for the next six weeks after allowing too many pilots to go on leave at the same time, meaning the company now have a shortage.
Passengers will be placed onto alternative flights or will be able to claim compensation from the company.
- The full list of Ryanair flights cancelled between Thursday 21st September and Saturday 28th October
The list is best viewed in landscape mode if using a mobile device
Ryanair's mass cancellation of flights due to a pilot shortage could cost the company almost £18million in compensation, according to chief executive Michael O'Leary.
"Clearly there's a large reputational impact for which again I apologise. We will try to do better in future," O'Leary said.
"In terms of lost profitability we think it will cost us something of the order of up to about five million euros (£4.4 million) over the next six weeks and in terms of the EU261 compensation we think that will be something up to a maximum of 20 million euros but much depends on how many of the alternative flights our customers take."
O'Leary says he should stay and fix the company's problems after they were forced to shelve the flights.
Under EU law, passengers given less than 14 days notice of a flight cancellation are entitled to claim compensation worth up to 250 euros (£221) depending on the timing of alternative flights and if the issue was not beyond the responsibility of the airline, such as extreme weather.
O'Leary said: "If they're not satisfied with the alternative flights offered they can have a full refund and they will all be entitled to their EU261 compensation entitlements.
"We will not be trying to claim exceptional circumstances.
"This is our mess-up. When we make a mess in Ryanair we come out with our hands up.
"We try to explain why we've made the mess and we will pay compensation to those passengers who are entitled to compensation, which will be those flights that are cancelled over the next two weeks."
The chief executive went on to insist the airline is "not short of pilots" as he explained the reason behind the cancellations.
He said: "What we have messed up is the allocation of holidays and trying to over-allocate holiday during September and October, while we're still running most of the summer schedule, and taking flight delays because of principally air traffic control and weather disruptions."
Here are some of the key questions around the compensation claims process for cancelled flights:
- What rules apply? EU law protects passengers whose flights are delayed or cancelled under the Denied Boarding Regulation. This applies to flights either departing from an EU airport or those that are both arriving at an EU airport and operated by an EU airline, such as Ryanair.
- Are passengers entitled to a refund? Yes, passengers can claim a refund from the airline. If they have booked a return flight and the outbound leg is cancelled, they can also claim the full cost of the return ticket.
- What if a passenger still wants to travel? Ryanair must offer an alternative flight as soon as possible after the cancelled flight. This will be "at worse" on the following day, Ryanair said.
- Do they get any assistance while they wait? Delayed passengers are entitled to claim reasonable expenditure for food, soft drinks, phone calls and accommodation.
- What about compensation? If less than 14 days notice is given for a cancellation, airline travellers can claim up to 250 euros (£221) under EU regulation 261, depending on the timing of the alternative flight. Customers given more warning are not entitled to a payout
- Is compensation automatic? No, disrupted passengers must write a letter of complaint to the airline. They should keep as much evidence as they can, such as boarding cards and receipts to claim expenses. A template letter can be found on the website of consumer watchdog Which?