'Furious' Travelers Shun Ryanair Amidst 'Flurry' of Strikes
Infuriated customers are rallying forces to boycott beleaguered budget carrier Ryanair after the latest employee strike led to 190 flight cancellations, representing 8% of the airline's total operations and stranding more than 35,000 of travelers across Europe.
The Daily Star reports that some customers say that Ryanair has “ruined [their] lives” after nearly a dozen total strikes in 2018 have forced them to abandon travel plans and forfeit prepaid accommodation and other vacation bookings. One passenger told the news site that the flight cancellations had cost her a year's worth of savings.
Strikes have rocked the Irish carrier since the start of the year, when several Italian unions went on strike for hours to protest their exclusion from negotiations. Since then, the airline has suffered from multiple strikes and labor actions:
|February 10||Three Italian unions, primarily representing cabin and ground crew employees, staged a four-hour strike for not being included in Ryanair contract negotiations.|
|March 29||Ryanair cancelled dozens of Portugal flights after cabin crew union SNPVAC staged three one-day strikes on March 29, April 1 and April 4.|
|Around 25% of Ryanair's 350 Ireland-based pilots went on strike for the first time to negotiate improved working conditions.|
|July 20||A second one-day strike by Irish pilots led to 24 canceled flights, out of an approximate 2,300 daily flights.|
|July 24||A third one-day strike by Irish pilots led Ryanair to cancel 16 out of around 2,300 daily flights.|
|Italian, Spanish, Portuguese and Belgian cabin crew staged a two-day strike that forced Ryanair to cancel flights for more than 50,000 customers, resulting in the airline's biggest-ever strike at that point in time.|
|August 3||Irish pilots stage a fourth one-day strike, resulting in 20 canceled flights. In turn, Ryanair responded by cutting its Ireland-based winter fleet by 20%, putting more than 300 employees on preliminary notice.|
|Swedish, Belgian and Irish Ryanair pilots went on strike, resulting in 146 cancellations, making it the new "worst strike in Ryanair history" affecting some 55,000 passengers.|
|September 12||German pilots staged a 24-hour strike due to “catastrophic working conditions.”|
|September 28||Ryanair cabin crew across six countries hold their “biggest strikes ever,” with 250 flights cancelled, according to the Daily Mail, resulting in a third "worst historical strike" record.|
The latest strike on September 28 was another public relations nightmare, with thousands of passengers only learning upon arrival at the gate that their flights had been cancelled.
Customers have lambasted the Irish low-cost airline as "a joke," calling the airline a "disgusting company" and a group of "crooks who will never get my money again" after a series of snafus in August, including thousands of bounced remuneration checks after originally refusing to compensate passengers.