Due to set off to Malaga, Spain, to celebrate dad Simon's 30th birthday, the Roffee family say they were told at the gate in departures that their flight was grounded.
Wife Kellie, 35, and her family had scrimped and saved for the £2,105 trip and stayed at home on throughout the summer and end-of-term holidays to afford the flights and a plush four-star hotel.
Ryanair have refused to even apologise, according to the family who remain out of pocket.
Kellie and Simon were due to go away with daughters Casey, 15, Ella, 12, Ryan, nine and Amelia-Rose, five from Tuesday last week until tomorrow.
The family claim Ryanair offered them a flight to jet out today and arrived at 10pm - but leave at 11am tomorrow and return.
They say they wasted their whole day at Leeds Bradford Airport before driving back home to Cleethorpes, Lincolnshire.
Kellie said: "We normally go away for a weekend camping and we couldn't do it because we were saving up for this holiday, we now won't be getting a holiday this year.
"We were waiting around the airport, the kids were really excited, we were sat in the VIP lounge and we heard this tannoy and they asking for everyone to go to gate four.
The Roffee family, L-R: Casey, 15, Lewis, 19, Simon, 30, Ryan, 9, Amelia-Rose, 5, Kellie, 35, Ella,12
"We were really excited thinking we were going to get there and they locked the doors and they said nobody was going anywhere.
"It was 45 minutes before boarding, people were kicking off and they were really angry.
"One woman was having a panic attack and was crying, we asked Ryanair if they were prepared to pay for another flight and they said that was absolutely not going to happen.
"We were at the airport from 11am until 6pm, we wasted the whole day there.
"I feel really bad like I have deprived my children of a holiday, the kids are devastated, absolutely distraught, the next morning my Amelia-Rose came in and asked us 'are we off on holiday today then?'.
"We've had no apology or anything from Ryanair."
Kellie, a housewife and Simon, a maintenance worker for Lincoln Council, say they were promised a full refund from the airline as well as an unknown amount of compensation.
Kellie Roffee says she has not received an apology for her family from Ryanair
The family paid £495 for the flights and £1,500 to stay at the four-star Hotel Rocamarina as well as shelling out cash on kids holiday clothes.
Ryanair are cancelling up to 50 flights-a-day for the next six weeks after it failed to correctly plan the pilots holiday rota.
The cancellations could affect up to almost 300,000 passengers who were offered alternative flights or refunds.
It is unknown if the family's problems involved this cancellation program.
Kellie added: "We normally go for a week with the kids so next year we would like to go for two weeks somewhere really nice, somewhere a little bit more expensive.
"Amelia-Rose was crying because she was scared, there was a bloke swearing and the police had to come and he almost got arrested.
"We had bought all the holiday clothes and everything as well, so we have lost money and next summer the clothes won't fit them.
"My husband was coming with us and it was his 30th birthday. We had only had one day out throughout the entire summer holidays and that was to Flamingo Land.
"As a parent I feel like I have I have failed my children, Ryanair offered us a flight on the 18 to come back on the 19, but even if we took the flight we would not have arrived until 10pm and we would have had to leave the hotel by 11am the next morning.
"It was ridiculous, they just said 'sorry, that's all we can offer you'."
Ryanair have been contacted for a comment.