A Sunderland couple have been left stranded in Portugal after their flight home was cancelled by Ryanair.
Linda and Stephen Krager had been enjoying a sunshine break on the Algarve, but just days before they were due to fly home the pair received a text from the budget airline informing them that their flight had been cancelled.
Earlier this week, the airline announced it was having to cancel between 40 to 50 flights every day until October 31 - affecting 400,000 passengers - after it “messed” up holiday rotas for pilots.
It left the Kragers having to make a series of hurried phone calls to book alternative flights home, find additional accommodation and inform work they would need more time off.
Now as Stephen, 54, and Linda, 55, were set to fly back from Quarteira in Portugal to Manchester today, they have said the matter has put them off flying with Ryanair in future.
Linda, an early help worker, said: “We were due to fly home on Saturday morning but we got a text message late Thursday night to tell us our flight was cancelled.
“The earliest flight home for us was on Tuesday afternoon so we had to go and search for accommodation, which we luckily found late on Friday.
“We also had to purchase medication for my husband who has diabetes and neuropathy.
“This has been so stressful and has spoiled the end of a lovely holiday.”
Speaking to Ryanair customer service, they have been told to keep all of their receipts in the hope that they can claim compensation.
While Manchester airport has allowed them to extend their parking at no additional cost.
But Linda says the whole affair has been incredibly stressful for them and has taken the shine off their holiday.
She continued: “As we are flying to Manchester we will have to drive back, so we won’t get home until the early hours and then I will have to go straight to work as I have already had to take two extra days off on top of the two weeks.
“We didn’t get the text until 10pm on Thursday night and then had to wait until 9am the next morning to try and book a return flight.
“It has been a worry letting the family and work know and a hassle to re-book our transfers.
“This is the first time we have flown with Ryanair, although we have flown with budget airlines in the past.
“And even on the way out there was a two hour delay getting there and we had to sit on the plane for that time.
“I think we have just been unlucky but it has totally put me off flying with Ryanair.”
In a statement issued earlier this week Ryanair said: “We will cancel 40 to 50 flights daily for the next six weeks, (less than 2% of our schedule) with a slightly higher number this weekend as we begin to implement these cancellations.
“Flights are operating as scheduled unless an email confirming a cancellation has been received.
“We advise customers to check the email address used to make their booking.
“Cancellation notices for flights cancelled up to and including Wednesday 20 September have been sent to affected customers and we will continue to send regular updates and post flight information on our website.
“We apologise to all affected customers for these cancellations.
“We have messed up in the planning of pilot holidays and we’re working hard to fix that.”
To view the full list of cancelled flights visit: https://www.ryanair.com/ie/en/useful-info/help-centre/travel-updates/flight-cancellations7