Budget airline Ryanair is cancelling 40 to 50 flights every day for the next six weeks in a bid to improve its punctuality, but many passengers have been left stranded after being given "no notice" about the cancellations.
The Irish-based airline said strikes in Europe, air traffic control issues and bad weather had caused its punctuality level to drop to "unacceptable" levels, and that it also had a backlog of staff leave to clear by the end of the year.
"Ryanair's on-time performance has declined from 90 per cent to under 80 per cent over the past two weeks, a figure that is unacceptable to Ryanair and its customers," the airline said in a statement.
The cancellations could affect up to 400,000 passengers, who will be offered alternative flights or refunds.
The airline cancelled 80 flights on Saturday and 82 on Sunday, leaving many passengers stranded when they were told via text message that their flights had been scrapped.
"We got no notice and have to stay an extra three days in Rome with no help or support from Ryanair," one Twitter user said.
"We're out 400 euro ($600) already and we still have to get to Monday before the next available flight. It's madness. I'll never fly Ryanair again."
Another Twitter user said they found out their flight was cancelled by checking the website on the morning of their flight.
"We're due to fly at 10:00am and still haven't received an email and it's on the website the flight is cancelled! Never fly with them again," the user wrote at 7:00am.
Ryanair has not confirmed which other flights will be cancelled over the next six weeks, causing angst for many customers who have already booked travel with the airline.
"Release a list of flights with more than 24 hours' notice please, so people can actually arrange alternative ways to travel," one Twitter user said.
"Publishing the cancelled flights for the next two days… why not publish them all? Shambles of a company," said another.
Ryanair said the cancellations, which make up less than 2 per cent of their 2,500 daily flights, would improve the "operational resilience" of their schedules.
"We apologise sincerely to the small number of customers affected by these cancellations, and will be doing our utmost to arrange alternative flights and/or full refunds for them," the airline said.