Ryanair customer says she is £1,000 out of pocket after airline cancelled her flights, reinstated them hours later… and then scrapped them again
- Laura Clarke booked tickets for a flight from Manchester to Bordeaux on Friday
- Days before the flight she received multiple emails from Ryanair over its status
- She was forced to book tickets and accommodation to make a different flight
A Ryanair customer says she’s been left £1,000 out of pocket after the airline cancelled her flight twice in the space of 24 hours.
Laura Clarke, from Burscough, West Lancashire, had booked tickets to fly from Manchester to Bordeaux with her sister Sarah and a friend on Friday, March 31.
The wine-tasting trip to southern France had been to celebrate Sarah’s 40th birthday, but after months of planning Laura was heartbroken to find days beforehand that their flight out of the UK had been cancelled.
The unwelcome change meant she was forced to book the trio onto a new one-way flight and overnight accommodation the night before, costing more than £1,000 in total.
However, things then took a farcical turn when she was told their original flight had not been cancelled, only for Ryanair to U-turn again and confirm it would not be going ahead.
Laura Clarke (front), pictured here with sister Sarah (middle) and their friend, was left confused after receiving multiple messages from Ryanair about the status of their flight to Bordeaux
Laura (left), Sarah (right) and their friend (middle) were forced to book themselves onto a different flight amid the confusion
For the 37-year-old accountant it was an unneeded stress for what should have been a relaxing four-day trip to Europe.
The trouble began when she received an email from Ryanair on Wednesday, March 29, saying the 8.15pm flight from Manchester to Bordeaux on Friday had been scrapped.
She was forced to quickly rearrange flights for the party to ensure they would not miss out, resulting in her paying £939 for a one way flight.
Following the ‘cancellation’ of Laura’s original £250 return flights for the trio, the new flights took the trio to their wine tasting paradise via Amsterdam, Netherlands.
Due their departure flights leaving from Teesside International Airport, Laura was forced to fork out another £100 for a hotel room.
However, she was left reeling when she received another message from Ryanair stating to ignore the prior email.
The message read: ‘Due to a technical error, some flights have appeared on the Ryanair App/website as cancelled.
‘Please be advised, this is an error and your flight will operate as scheduled. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.’
Confused, Laura then contacted Ryanair and spoke with an advisor who confirmed that the flight was back on.
However, listening to her gut Laura kept the new flights she had booked and a few hours later received another email from the Irish airline this time confirming the flight was indeed cancelled.
This email claimed that ongoing French air traffic control strikes were the primary cause of the flight being grounded.
After receiving a message from Ryanair saying her flight had been cancelled, Laura received an email saying her flight was operating as normal (pictured)
However, Laura then received another message from Ryanair confirming her flight WAS cancelled (pictured)
Speaking today Laura said: ‘We were heading to Bordeaux for my sister’s 40th birthday. We had already spent £455 on the hotel and £250 on a wine tour so we didn’t want to lose out.
‘The extra flights cost £939 one way for the three of us but initially we had gotten a £250 Ryanair return.
READ MORE HERE: British holidaymakers face Easter travel chaos as strikes by French air controllers threaten to cause hundreds of cancelled flights next month
‘I had to spend £99 to stay in a hotel on Teesside as that was the only place that could get us there in time for the wine tour so we flew with Air France via Amsterdam.
‘I thought it was odd when Ryanair emailed to say the flight was going ahead which is why I rang them and the lady on the phone confirmed it was back on.
‘When I contacted Ryanair I then got another text and email to say that the flight was cancelled because of the air traffic controllers, but luckily I hadn’t cancelled anything I’d arranged.
‘It’s a four day trip and once I get there I’ll be fine but there was a lot of panicking as I’ve had to rearrange bits of it.
‘I just hope nothing else goes wrong – I’ll definitely enjoy my first glass of red when I get there.’
A Ryanair spokesperson told MailOnline: ‘This flight from Manchester to Bordeaux (March 31) was cancelled due to repeated French ATC strikes. Affected passengers were notified on March 28 and advised of their options.
‘However, this passenger received a further notification in error on March 30 that this flight would operate as scheduled, which was quickly rectified that same morning confirming that this flight was indeed cancelled due to French ATC strikes.’
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