As a guest at a wedding, I really only wanted to spend a short weekend in France. But the return flight turned out to be an odyssey, as is currently the case for many travellers. And to make matters worse, Ryanair changed the arrival time of the flight. Apparently, the airline wants to avoid paying compensation.

French Nantes Airport last Sunday: Thousands of travelers were waiting for their flights, many people were sitting on the floor. I wanted to fly an open jaw flight from Nantes via Manchester on the way back to Hamburg. The one-hour delay initially reported by Ryanair quickly turned into three hours. Will our connecting flight work out? No information. At 6:50 p.m., 3 hours and 10 minutes later than originally scheduled, boarding finally began. At that moment I received a 4 euro meal voucher from Ryanar via SMS. Too bad I couldn’t redeem it anymore. Forget it, because that was the least of my problems.

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And indeed, when asked, a flight attendant told me that Ryanair usually does not pay any compensation. It would be better for us to contact the connecting flight airline, although they are not responsible for the missed connecting flight. Even though our connection time in Manchester was only 2 hours 35 minutes according to the flight plan, we still hoped to catch the connecting flight. Instead of landing at 4:40 p.m. (English time), we actually landed in Manchester at 7:47 p.m.

The Ryanair app also showed this, I took a screenshot of it. So exactly 3 hours and seven minutes late. Important, see above. After landing, however, we had to wait another 20 minutes before we could exit the plane. We sprinted through the entire airport to the gate of the connecting flight, unfortunately in vain. The plane had already taken off.

At that time, of course, there were no Ryanair staff to be found at the airport counter. After another 1.5 hours of waiting, the airline-independent airport staff informed us that they could not help us either. We should kindly book a hotel and a new flight ourselves. I found that quite cheeky, after all, airlines are actually obliged to pay for accommodation and meals if the delay is more than three hours. So I quickly took cell phone screenshots of the flight times so that I could at least claim a refund afterwards. At 10pm we finally arrived at the hotel in Manchester and booked a return flight for the next morning. We finally arrived in Hamburg on Monday at 9:15 a.m., almost 13 hours late.

Of course, I immediately tried to contact Ryanair via the hotline, but was stuck on hold for hours, unable to speak to a member of staff. The claim for compensation can be submitted to Ryanair online. However, I found many testimonials from those affected on the Internet who apparently never received a payment from Ryanair. How such a well-known airline gets away with it remains a mystery to me. But I’m not giving up. I will contact consumer advice and continue to try to contact Ryanair. But I’ve had enough of flying for now.

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