See you in court docket: that was the riposte by Ryanair to its pilots on Friday afternoon.

Subsequent Thursday and Friday, 22 and 23 August, in addition to on 2, Three and Four September (5 of the busiest days of the yr for returning holidaymakers), flight crew employed in Britain by Europe’s greatest price range airline are aspiring to strike. 

The pilots’ union had invited Ryanair to talks this coming Monday, however as a substitute the airline took a leaf out of BA’s guide by difficult the poll for industrial motion on a authorized technicality.

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“Ryanair bully boy techniques places journey plans in danger,” was how the British Airline Pilots’ Affiliation (Balpa) put it on Friday afternoon.

“In the event that they suppose they’ll legally bludgeon us and their pilots into submission they’re fallacious,” stated Brian Strutton, Balpa’s basic secretary.

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1/10 10. Thai Airways

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2/10 9. Lufthansa

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3/10 8. Qantas Airways

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4/10 7. Hainan Airways

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5/10 6. EVA Air

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6/10 5. Emirates

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7/10 4. Cathay Pacific

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8/10 3. ANA All Nippon Airways

In response to the Skytrax World Airline awards

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9/10 2. Singapore Airways

In response to the Skytrax World Airline awards

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10/10 1. Qatar Airways

In response to the Skytrax World Airline awards

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1/10 10. Thai Airways

In response to the Skytrax World Airline awards

AFP/Getty

2/10 9. Lufthansa

In response to the Skytrax World Airline awards

Getty

3/10 8. Qantas Airways

In response to the Skytrax World Airline awards

Getty

4/10 7. Hainan Airways

In response to the Skytrax World Airline awards

Getty Photos

5/10 6. EVA Air

In response to the Skytrax World Airline awards

Getty Photos

6/10 5. Emirates

In response to the Skytrax World Airline awards

Getty

7/10 4. Cathay Pacific

In response to the Skytrax World Airline awards

Getty

8/10 3. ANA All Nippon Airways

In response to the Skytrax World Airline awards

Getty

9/10 2. Singapore Airways

In response to the Skytrax World Airline awards

Getty

10/10 1. Qatar Airways

In response to the Skytrax World Airline awards

Getty

“Ryanair passengers can be dismayed on the airline’s cavalier perspective that’s placing their journey plans in danger.”

If I, because the proud holder of a reserving from Stansted to Girona on 2 September, could communicate on behalf of Ryanair passengers: that sentence might be improved by ending it at “dismayed”.

That an immensely worthwhile airline and a comparatively well-paid personnel ought to be placing half-a-million journeys in danger is, properly, dismaying. It’s good to speak, however in a negotiating room somewhat than the no-frills environment of a courtroom within the Excessive Court docket in London.

Some passengers who’ve contacted the journey desk for the reason that Ryanair strike are extraordinarily relaxed: they’re booked on UK-bound flights, and in no explicit rush to return house.

They’ve merely needed to substantiate their rights: sure, if a cancelled flight leaves them grounded in Greece, Ryanair should guide them an affordable resort and pay for all their dolamades and souvlaki till the airline can get them house.

However the overwhelming majority of travellers whose journeys are jeopardised are burdened and anxious, as a result of an amazing deal hangs on their flight plans. It could be crucial that they return on a sure date, or that (as in my case) the Ryanair flight is merely the primary stage in a sophisticated and costly itinerary.

Plenty of individuals have requested whether or not they need to guide different journeys now, typically at appreciable and fairly presumably pointless expense, or threat their dream journeys turning to nightmares as their itineraries unravel.

The reply I give is “No,” due to the European air passengers’ rights guidelines.

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Ryanair is liable for rebooking individuals on the swiftest potential different journey. If the airline tells me, with two or three days to go, that my flight is cancelled, then I have to supply Ryanair the chance to offer an affordable different the identical day by itself “steel”. But when there aren’t any seats, I’ll take a flight to Barcelona on easyJet or British Airways, thanks, and ask for the practice fare to Girona too.

Will this play out precisely because the legislation calls for? I worry not, a minimum of not if tons of of 1000’s of travellers are hit by the strikes. However if you happen to give Ryanair the possibility to do the best factor, and the airline doesn’t, then guide the choice flight you probably have the credit-card headroom, and be ready for a battle to assert again the price.

Which, I readily agree, just isn’t an amazing prospect when all you need is a vacation.

So let me suggest that, when a union pronounces industrial motion towards an airline, the provider has to disclose its cancelled flights one week earlier than the strike.

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That may give the airline a wider window to safe different journey for the passengers affected – and conversely present certainty for many who are assured their journeys can be going forward.

This isn’t about making it tougher to strike: certainly, the airline world will hate the thought, relating to it as giving but extra energy to the aviation unions – together with the chance to wreak injury solely to revoke the deliberate strike earlier than it begins.

In the event you can consider a greater plan, I want to hear it. In the meantime the joyful anticipation of journey has, for a lot of, been chased away by nagging uncertainty.