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Ryanair pilots strike goes ahead – what you need to know

Strike action from Ryanair pilots is going ahead as planned after the airline lost an attempt to stop it in the High Court – if you're affected, here's what you need to know.

A judge rejected an urgent application by the airline for an injunction against the British Airline Pilots' Association (BALPA) yesterday.

The union and the airline were unable to reach an agreement and so the strike is going ahead as planned between 00.01am on Thursday until 11.59pm on Friday.

A second round of strikes is planned between 2 and 4 September.

Ryanair said this morning that all first wave flights to and from the UK and Ireland had departed as scheduled without any disruption – and that it expects this to continue for the rest of the day. But if you are disrupted, here's what you need to know.

For more information, see our Flight Delay Compensation guide.

If my flight's delayed or cancelled, what will I be entitled to?

Under EU flight delay law, you have rights if your flight is cancelled or delayed. For these rules to apply, the flight must have left from an EU airport, or you must have arrived at an EU airport on an EU airline.

  • If your flight is cancelled, you'll be entitled to a refund or alternative flight (possibly on another airline), no matter when the cancellation takes place.

    Typically, a strike by an airline's pilots is not considered an extraordinary circumstance, and so could mean you're also entitled to compensation of up to £370/person depending on the timing of the alternative flight you're offered, and if the cancellation takes place less than two weeks before the flight. For full details, see Flight Cancellations.

    As a key point to remember though, if you end up opting for a flight on an alternative airline, remember to get Ryanair to book this. If you book it yourself, you may have trouble reclaiming the money, as others have had in the past.

  • If your flight is delayed by more than three hours, you could also be entitled to compensation as typically a strike by an airline's pilots is not considered an extraordinary circumstance. How much you'd be owed depends on how long a delay is. For full details, see our Flight Delays guide.

    You may also be entitled to care and assistance if you're stuck at the airport.

However, it's worth noting that Ryanair has refused to pay strike compensation in the past, and has faced enforcement action as a result of this.

If my holiday is disrupted, will my travel insurer cover me?

If your flight is cancelled, you'll be refunded, but if you've booked extra holiday elements – such as hotels or car hire – that you wouldn't be able to use because of the flight cancellation, you would not automatically get the refund directly from the airline.

Initially, you should check if you have free cancellation on any bookings, or if the provider is able to do anything to help.

Whether these costs – often known as 'consequential losses' – would be covered by your travel insurance does vary between policies, so you should of course check the wording of your documents.

If your policy does cover you, the Association of British Insurers says that generally, if you booked when the intention to strike was known but the precise dates of any industrial action were not, then the policy should continue to cover you as normal.

However, if the days of the strikes were confirmed before you booked the holiday or the insurance, then the policy would likely not cover you for any strike-related claim.

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