Are Ryanair crew going to strike? Dates and which routes are cancelled – Times Travel

So far this year, UK air travel has been blighted by chaotic airport queues, severe delays and last-minute cancellations. While most of these issues have been blamed on Covid-related staff shortages, there’s a new threat on the horizon for would-be holidaymakers hoping for a relatively pain-free getaway: a summer of strikes. Over 40 Ryanair flights were cancelled in mid-June due to strike action by the airline’s French crew and more are confirmed for June and July by its staff in Spain. Threats of walkouts also loom for British Airways, which had its fair share of cancellations this year.

As things are shaping up for a summer of discontent, here’s what you need to know about the upcoming strikes and your rights if you’re affected.

Main photo: Tourists at the Reina Sofia Airport in Tenerife

When are the Ryanair strikes?

At the moment, the only upcoming Ryanair strikes are the two, three-day walkouts planned by the airline’s Spanish staff, represented by the USO and SITCPLA unions. The first of these will be on June 24, 25, and 26, while the second will be on June 30, July 1 and 2. It follows a strike by the airline’s French cabin crew, which took place on June 12 and 13.

These are part of a Europe-wide protest planned for this summer. Earlier this year, seven unions — Belgian unions ACV PULS and CNE, the French SNPNC, the Portuguese SNPVAC, the Italian UILTRASPORTI, and the Spanish USO and SITCPLA — proposed a series of coordinated strikes over pay and working conditions. 

In a joint statement, the unions said that since the strikes in 2018, Ryanair has made few improvements to working conditions, despite several attempts at mediation. As a result, they have collectively agreed to initiate strike action. Although only the French and Spanish strikes have been confirmed so far, more are expected to be announced. 

Ryanair plane on the tarmac at the Biarritz Airport, France (Alamy)

Which Ryanair flights are cancelled?

Right now, it’s not clear which flights will be cancelled as it may well depend on whether any of the other unions decide to strike at the same time and whether Ryanair is able to draft in staff from elsewhere. Flights to and from Spain will be the most heavily impacted if only the Spanish crew walk out. 

In the most recent strikes by the airline’s crew in France, over 40 flights had to be cancelled according to the French union SNPNC. And in the 2018 Europe-wide strikes, several hundred flights were cancelled across its network.

Ryanair maintains that disruption will be minimal. It said in a statement: “Ryanair has negotiated collective agreements covering 90 per cent of our people across Europe. In recent months we have been negotiating improvements to those agreements as we work through the Covid recovery phase. Those negotiations are going well and we do not expect widespread disruption this summer.”

An airport employee at Palma de Mallorca airport (Alamy)

How can I find out if my flight is cancelled?

Ryanair should be informing passengers ahead of time if any flights are cancelled so make sure the airline has your correct details — including any email addresses or phone numbers — so you can receive notifications in time. You can also check if your flight is cancelled on Ryanair’s website.

British Airways ticket counter check-in desk line at Cape Town, International Airport (Getty Images)

Are British Airways striking?

At the moment no. 

However, British Airways cabin crew and ground staff who are represented by Unite have recently been consulted on their intentions to strike, and an “overwhelming” number voted yes to a walkout. 

Unite said in a statement: “To anyone that has flown on British Airways recently, this overwhelming consultative ballot result will come as no surprise. British Airway’s management now can no longer ignore the universal discontent across their own workforce, in the way they have ignored the needs of their own customers.”

At this stage, the union is just testing the waters. It needs to hold an “industrial action ballot” before a strike is formally announced, and even then the strike could still be cancelled at the last minute — as it has been in the past.

BA on its part said that the results were “not surprising given the issues across the transport sector” but that it remains disappointing. It is however committed to continuing discussions with the union.

A passenger drops off her luggage at the Ryanair check-in counter at Adolfo Suarez Madrid Barajas airport (Getty Images)

What are my rights?

If your flight is cancelled or delayed as a result of the planned strike action by cabin crew, or other airline staff, you could be entitled to compensation. The amount you’re entitled to would depend on how delayed your flight is; or in the case of cancellation, how far in advance you’re told and how delayed any proposed replacement flights are. 

You can find out more, including how to make a claim, here.

In the UK, unions must legally give at least 14 days’ notice before any proposed strike action. Unfortunately for travellers, if the airline cancels your flight more than two weeks before your scheduled departure, you won’t be entitled to any compensation — only a refund. If you decide not to travel because your new flights are too expensive, you could be left out of pocket for any hotels or other accommodation you’ve already booked. 

With this in mind, it’s worth booking accommodation with a free cancellation policy in place so you can cancel at the last minute if you need to. Or alternatively, book a package holiday — if your flights are cancelled, you’ll be offered an alternative flight or a full refund on your holiday if it’s not possible. It’s also worth having comprehensive travel insurance in place so you can claim back any resulting losses.

Read our tips for how to deal with travel chaos

About the author


Pioneer Jury is a qualified writer and a blogger, who loves to dabble with and write about technology. While focusing on and writing on tech topics, his varied skills and experience enable him to write on any topic related to tech which may interest him. [email protected]

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