Cancelled flight: Ryanair refund and compensation. In this post I tell you about the odyssey we experienced on our return from our trip to Belgium.
When travelling, one must be prepared even for the most unpleasant of mishaps. It is clear that when they occur they create quite a few worries, but in the end they can be topics for conversations with friends.
Ryanair flight cancellation, I tell you what happened to me
On my last trip to Belgium last July, we had scheduled our return journey from Brussels airport to Pisa for 10.30 pm.
Check in done, suitcases checked in and flight confirmed both by the company and on the airport boards.
So far, so good, last Belgian beer in the departure area and after a day around Brussels we were waiting to relax on board our plane, but the best was yet to come.
Flight cancelled 15 minutes after gate opening
Within 15 minutes of the gate opening, I receive a message from the Ryanair app that our flight had been cancelled.
You can only imagine the disbelief and anger of all the people in the boarding queue.
Initially, I had thought of a delayed flight notification, but on checking the boards the unrepeatable was revealed as ‘FLIGHT CANCELLED‘… and now what?
Another message from the airline had arrived: it contained the airline ticket refund form with which we could recover the amount spent on the purchase of the ticket and told us how to book a new one.
Ryanair flights cancelled
Needless to say, the booking of a low-cost flight usually takes place months in advance to get the best possible price, and companies increase prices as the departure date approaches.
Ryanair refund voucher
The Ryanair app told me to cancel the flight and offered me a Ryanair ticket refund voucher for € 50.00, the amount I had paid for the return journey, to be spent on the next available flights.
Having a lot of experience in this matter, I went to check both costs and departure dates before accepting and booking other flights
Cancelled flight: When was the next flight out?
Ryanair flights from Brussels to Pisa are not there every day and considering that besides the influx of tourists there are also the offices of the European institutions, they are always full flights.
Checking the Ryanair website there was a flight the next day and one two days later from the other Brussels airport. The one the following day was already full and cost from €400.00 and the one after that still had places, but the amount to be paid was similar.
Refunds for cancelled flights when to accept the voucher
The thing I always advise is never to accept what the company proposes immediately, because it will most likely exclude you from claiming airline refunds based on how much you have to spend.
As in any commercial negotiation, accepting what is proposed carries the risk of self-exclusion from further Ryanair reimbursement claims.
You will have plenty of time to change your mind, but initially I suggest that you act independently.
Cancelled flight: What the law says
In the event of flight cancellation, passengers are entitled to certain rights and compensation provided for by law, such as EU Regulation no. 261/2004.
In particular, if the flight is cancelled, the airline must offer passengers the following options:
- Refund of the ticket price: the passenger has the right to a full refund of the ticket price within seven days if he or she so requests.
- Redirection: the airline must offer an alternative travel option, such as another flight to the same or another nearby destination, as well as assistance (meals, drinks, accommodation, transport) while waiting for the new flight.
- Rerouting: the airline must offer a later travel alternative that is convenient for the passenger, at no extra cost. In this case, the airline must also provide assistance.
Passengers are also entitled to monetary compensation if their flight is cancelled less than 14 days before departure and the airline is unable to provide an acceptable travel alternative. The amount of compensation depends on the distance of the flight and varies from 250 to 600 euros.
In addition to the financial reimbursement of the flight, the passenger who suffers an unjustified cancellation is also entitled to:
- Reimbursement of the price of the ticket not used due to the cancellation or re-routing on an alternative flight to the intended destination of the cancelled flight;
- Meals and drinks in relation to waiting time;
- Adequate hotel accommodation, in case one or more overnight stays are required;
- Transfer from the airport to the place of destination and vice versa;
- Two telephone calls or messages by telefax, fax or e-mail.
However, there are some exceptions where the airline is not obliged to pay compensation, for instance if the cancellation is due to extraordinary circumstances, such as extreme weather events, security problems or unforeseen strikes. In such cases, the airline must still provide assistance to passengers, such as meals, drinks and accommodation.
What costs and how much
Being a 4-person reservation, the costs I would have had to bear were enormous:
Reservation of the new flight € 400.00, per person, € 1600.00; 2 nights in a hotel € 600.00; 4 lunches/dinners € 500.00; plus the cost of taxi transfers.
The total expenses to be incurred in order to take the next flight amounted to approximately € 3,000.00.
What did we do to overcome the flight cancellation?
What I disliked little, to say the least, about Ryanair was the fact that no one came to the gate to give explanations or solutions.
They left hundreds of people even with children abandoned at the airport. It was also difficult for passengers to find out how to get to our luggage.
I know it sounds crazy, but we considered driving home.
We went to the booking and car rental centre and agreed that it would be convenient to rent a car in Brussels and leave it in Pisa.
The cost was 2,300 euro, but considering everything it was still advantageous. Moreover, this gave us the right to ask the airline for reimbursement.
After having cursed enough at having to get behind the wheel after walking around Brussels for 10 hours instead of trying to rest on the plane, we decided to book a car (read the article How to Rent a Car) with the Sixt company whose employee, taken pity on us for the long journey ahead, delivered a very comfortable car.
We left Brussels airport at midnight and were in Pisa by 11.30 the next morning.
Il mio volo cancellato: The app that solved the problems and got us compensation.
On the long journey back, we agreed to see a lawyer to claim damages as well as reimbursement of the ticket. After hearing from our respective lawyers, I tried to search the net to see if there was a service that would help us in our endeavour.
Compensation for cancelled flights
For the compensation of the cancelled Ryanair flight, I searched the web to see if there was a service that could help me. Among the results I found I chose to try to get a refund ryanair flight cancelled – without much confidence at first – IL MIO VOLO CANCELLATO a site that promised without commission or fixed costs on our part to obtain compensation for expenses incurred.
I decided to contact them in the chat on the site and I must say that my mistrust disappeared almost immediately. They contacted me and took charge quickly. I provided all passenger documents and invoices from the car rental.
In about 30 days I received a compensation proposal from the airline.
After an exchange of e-mails with their lawyers to negotiate the fee, we accepted the figure of 2300 euros, which covered the entire cost of the car rental.
In the end, the compensation came thanks to the lawyers
This may look like an advertising post for IL IO VOLO CANCELLATO but it is not.
This is just an opportunity to thank them for their excellent work and the reality of what happened to me on my return trip from Brussels.
Apart from the pain in the ass of driving (albeit in shifts) for 11 hours across Europe, I can say that it was an experience that we will eventually be able to recount at dinners with friends.
The last lesson I will put in my luggage is to avoid booking a late evening return flight. It is true that you will have the whole day to visit the place of your holiday, but if you do not have a good experience and quick reaction time, you will find it impossible to get back.