Update from Commission for Aviation Regulation on Ryanair Cancellations

Update from Commission for Aviation Regulation on Ryanair Cancellations

If Ryanair cancels a flight, it must offer you the choice of an alternative flight at the earliest opportunity or at a later date of your choice, subject to the availability of seats, or a full refund of the ticket.

Ryanair is entitled to offer a passenger comparable transport to the final destination if no alternative flight with the carrier is available. When a place is served by several airports, Ryanair may offer a flight to an alternative airport to that originally booked. Ryanair is then obliged to bear the cost of transferring you to the airport that you had booked or to another close-by destination agreed with you.

Care and Assistance  

If your agreed re-routed flight departs later than your original, you must be offered care and assistance free of charge while waiting for your re-routed flight– specifically, reasonable meals and refreshments in relation to the waiting time, hotel accommodation in cases where an overnight stay becomes necessary, transport between the airport and place of accommodation, and two telephone calls, emails, faxes or telexes.


Compensation in the event of cancellation depends on a number of factors. First, Ryanair may have to compensate you if it has given you between two weeks and seven days’ notice of the cancellation but your flight departs more than two hours before your original departure time and four hours of the original arrival time (or half these time periods where the notice period is less than seven days.)

Compensation in the event of a cancellation also depends on the distance of the flight and the reason for the cancellation. If Ryanair can prove that the cancellation was caused by an extraordinary circumstance that could not have been avoided even if all reasonable measures were taken no compensation is payable (e.g. a cancellation due to an air traffic control strike, bird strike or weather conditions that are incompatible with the safe operation of the flight).

The distance of a flight determines the amount of compensation due. If the distance is:

  • 1,500km or less the amount payable is €250
  • 1,500km – 3,500km and all EU flights over 3,500km the amount payable is €400

It is very important to note that compensation is distinct from and separate to the notion of reimbursement of expenses and/or the refund of the cost of an unused flight ticket.

Claims Process

If you choose to make a claim for expenses or compensation from Ryanair, you must contact the airline directly.  This is covered in Article 15 of their terms and conditions found on their website. Ryanair aims to deal with your application within four to six weeks.

It is important to remember that Ryanair is not required to pay compensation if the cancellation was outside of their control (extraordinary circumstances). Once Ryanair has finished dealing with your claim and if you do not agree with their decision, you can refer the matter to:

Commission for Aviation Regulation

3rd Floor, Alexandra House

Earlsfort Terrace


Telephone number +353 (0)1 661 1700

It is important to remember that the Commission only deals with fights departing from Ireland and that it will not deal with any complaint unless you have first submitted it directly to Ryanair. Details of the CAR’s complaints process can be found on

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Michael Flood is the Editor of Ireland's leading travel industry publication, Irish Travel Trade News. With more than 35 years experience, he has accumulated an in-depth knowledge of the airline industry and the travel and tourism world.

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