Northern Ireland

Holidaymakers urged to sit tight or risk losing compensation as Aer Lingus braces for major disruption

Passengers could see their summer travel plans unravel due to an “indefinite” work to rule by pilots starting next week

Aer Lingus had operated flights between Belfast and Heathrow for 15 years.
Aer Lingus strike will cause uncertainty for thousands of travellers

A travel expert has urged holidaymakers flying from Dublin this summer to avoid making any cancellations before strike dates are known, or they risk missing out on compensation.

A spokesperson for the airline has previously confirmed that any industrial action would not affect Aer Lingus’s regional service between Belfast and Great Britain.

But the development of an indefinite work to rule by Aer Lingus pilots over the coming weeks has caused widespread concern for travellers from Northern Ireland expected to to fly from Dublin Airport this summer.

But ABTA representative Sandra Corkin has urged travellers to hold off making any cancellations or alternative plans until it has been confirmed their flights will be affected.

“What I would say to anybody that is considering cancelling their flights, is to hold off until an announcement is made,” she added.

“Customers will be entitled to a refund on their ticket, and may be entitled to compensation if they are not given more than 14 days notice of the cancellation.”

But she warned that some customers may be exposed to a higher risk than others.

“People who have booked a package holiday will be protected by their ATOL partner but anyone who has booked their holiday separately will be at a higher risk.

“If you have booked flights and accommodation separately, get your insurance documents out and check that if you can’t make it to your destination on time you, your insurance will cover you.”

Ms Corkin who is also the managing director of Oasis Travel, said that the potential impact to holidaymakers from Northern Ireland is huge.

She estimates that around 60% of customers booking through the company’s eight shops across the north, will fly through Dublin with the majority of European and transatlantic flights booked through Aer Lingus.

But she said she believes the airline will be doing “everything in their power” to prevent the walkouts from going ahead, or they face an “enormous financial impact”.

While the outcome is unknow travellers are advised to stay on top of announcements by the airline and ensure they know what protection is available to them.