Southend airport offers free flights to Ryanair customers (but there's a catch)

Thousands of holidaymakers have been left in the lurch


London Southend Airport terminal and ATC Tower with people

It's been a nightmare week for Ryanair passengers after the budget airline announced it would be cancelling up to 50 flights daily for the next six weeks after "messing up" its pilots' rotas.

Thousands of holidaymakers have been left in the lurch, having to find alternative routes or cancelling their trips because of the last-minute changes.

See also: Ryanair 'knew about staff shortage a year ago'

See also: Ryanair: Full list of cancelled flights over next six weeks

But there could be a silver lining for frustrated passengers.

London Southend Airport has stepped up and is offering those affected by the cancellations free return flights with Flybe and Stobart - but there's a catch.

Credits: London Southend Airport

London Southend Airport

There will only be 100 return tickets on offer, on a first come, first served basis; and they are to and from the airline's hub in Dublin.

However, that does mean you could search for cheap flights from Dublin to your holiday destination for an alternative route - or even give yourself a consolation mini break in the Irish city.

The free ticket offer will also be extended on October 29th, when London Southend launches two new routes to Glasgow and Manchester.

Ryanair reveals the full list of cancelled flights over the next six weeks

Credits: PA

Ryanair has had to cancel a number of flights over the next six weeks

"The free return tickets is a simple gesture, an invitation if you like, to try us instead of the airports hit by the Ryanair cancellations," says Glyn Jones, Chief Executive Officer of Stobart Aviation, who own London Southend airport.

"We are confident we can offer a far better passenger experience – the proof being that we have been rated Best Airport in London five years running by Which?

"Tens of thousands of people will have had their holiday plans disrupted and clearly feel they've been left in limbo not knowing if they are travelling or not, or can even be sure their inbound flight won't be cancelled.

"Our free tickets will hopefully cheer up some people. After all, we're in the business of making people happy."

Ryanair has £320m wiped off its value as it's revealed the budget airline knew about staff shortage a year ago

Credits: PA

Flybe and Stobart are providing the free flights

How to claim your free ticket

  • The offer is for passengers whose flights have been cancelled by Ryanair due to the changes in the pilot and cabin crew rotas.
  • The first 100 eligible passengers who contact London Southend Airport will be able to claim a free return ticket and the offer will run until 22 September 2017. The flights will be from 29 October 2017.
  • Each qualifying passenger should email a copy of their boarding pass to
  • Successful customers will be sent voucher codes to book the free flights according to voucher terms and conditions.
  • Qualifying passengers must book by 30 September and fly before December 20 2017.

Best airlines in the world 2017 (TripAdvisor)

Best airlines in the world 2017 (TripAdvisor)

provided by