Ryanair airline has told customers that anyone who has requested a cash refund will be put in a queue until the pandemic has stopped.
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Passengers have been sent e-mails from the low-cost airline explaining the situation and that refunds will not be processed until “the Covid-19 crisis has abated”.
The airline explained: “As our payment agents are required to stay at home in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic, payment security restrictions prevent us from processing cash refunds.”
Instead, passengers are being offered vouchers instead.
The email continued: “We highly recommend using the refund voucher as these are readily available and you can book flights on all Ryanair Group airlines in over 200 designations in Europe and the Middle East.”
If customers do not wish to take the voucher, they will be placed in a queue until the pandemic has passed.
Steve Childs was planning to travel to Alicante but followed government advice not to and Ryanair cancelled his flight as travel restrictions continued.
He told the BBC that he received an email confirming the cancellation, and followed the link to apply the refund.
He then received another message not confirming his refund, and instead offering him the voucher that can be used on a future Ryanair flight.
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Steve said: “They turned around from saying that I could have a refund, to saying it would be months.”
However even passengers who applied for their refund over a month ago report receiving an email with an unsolicited voucher, says consumer advice website Which?.
Following the government guidelines, travel has been restricted for an indefinite period which means that customers will have to wait months for a refund.
Passengers do not have to accept a travel voucher or credit.
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A Ryanair spokesperson said: “For any cancelled flight, Ryanair is giving customers all of the options set out under EU regulations, including refunds.”
Passengers who have their flights cancelled are allowed to claim a refund under EU law. You are entitled to a full refund to the original form of payment within seven days, although many airlines will be struggling to meet that deadline according to the BBC.
There have been a wave of complaints from air passengers and holiday makers who have accepted why their holiday has been cancelled but are still battling to get a refund.
Ryanair’s rival easyJet has recently offered an online link so customers can claim a refund, while British Airways is offering a refund if customers call up and request one.
Which? recommends passengers continue to fight for a refund as many people have already been refunded by major airlines.
Ryanair travellers have expressed their anger over the situation on social media.
One Twitter user said: “So @Ryanair have decided to give me a voucher despite being in a queue for a refund for a month! Give me my money back.”
“You told me that refunds will be processed within 7 working days then further emails you to confirm refund is in queue and being processed…4 weeks later still nothing but a voucher. You can’t do this to people…”
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