The mayor of Liverpool has criticised Ryanair after the airline cancelled more than 20 flights.
On the final day of a heavily disrupted weekend which left tens of thousands of people stranded, Joe Anderson tweeted: “100s of people let down by Ryanair this morning with more cancelled flights at Liverpool JLA and as the chaos of Friday roles [sic] on to affect other airports and routes, the Ryanair response is remove staff from any contact with customers and let them fend for themselves.”
One of the cancellations was a service from Liverpool John Lennon Airport to Reus in Spain.
“Sorry state of affairs when staff not available to help, many people travelled from further afield to get flight and seriously let down. Really poor show by Ryanair again. I hope people get sorted,” the mayor added.
A spokesperson for Ryanair told The Independent: “Our UK operation is running well today (29 July).
“There is a very small number of delays and cancellations as a knock-on effect from the extreme weather disruptions (Fri) and the disruptions arising from ATC [air traffic control] staff shortages in the UK, France and Germany.”
Thousands of airline passengers woke up to discover their holiday flights had been cancelled, after widespread flight cancellations on Saturday.
On Sunday morning, Ryanair cancelled a dozen flights to and from its leading base, Stansted. Some of the 4,000-plus grounded passengers found out only at check-in.
Departures to Dublin from Birmingham, Luton and Newcastle were also been grounded, as well as a round trip from Gatwick to Cork.
Ryanair’s budget rival, easyJet, also cancelled a number of flights to and from Gatwick. Reasons ranged from technical issues, which grounded a round trip to Aberdeen, to knock-on effects from the poor weather on Friday – causing the cancellation of a return flight between Liverpool and Amsterdam.
British Airways’ first UK departure of the day, from Stansted to Faro in Portugal, was grounded, along with a round trip from Heathrow to Dublin.
Airlines that cancel flights are obliged to tell passengers about their entitlement to replacement flights, accommodation and meals.
Ryanair undertakes to find seats on alternative flights on its own services or rival airlines on the day of cancellation or the following day.
The Irish airline and BA say they will not be paying cash compensation for the delays because they were caused by bad weather – and, claims Ryanair, shortages of staff among air traffic control providers.
The cancellations have highlighted an apparent lack of resilience among the airlines this summer.
Airlines make most or all of their profits during the school holidays. With each seat potentially worth £100 or more, the temptation is to schedule as many flights as they think they can handle.
But when problems intervene, there is little slack in the system for service recovery.
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