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Airlines around the world have been forced to cancel flights and amend itineraries in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Though many refunds have since been issued, there are some would-be holidaymakers who are still out of pocket.
In order to ensure every passenger gets the refund they are entitled to, Ryanair has bolstered its current system.
According to Ryanair, many travellers who booked through a third-party agent, such as a price comparison or holiday deal website, may not have had their information shared with the airline.
The Irish-carrier has put in place a new customer verification process to help those who booked through alternative websites get their money back directly from Ryanair.
On its website, the budget airline explains: “You may have made your Ryanair booking with a third party travel agent or screen scraper website, not on Ryanair.com/Ryanair app. For example, Kiwi, On the Beach, Love Holidays, Last Minute.com.
“These screen scraper websites use screen scraping software to copy the content of our website for display on their own website so that they can appear to customers as authorised agents of Ryanair.
“They may not share any of your personal information with us such as your email address, payment details, postal address etc.”
Ryanair claims: “They supply us with fake information.
“This means we often cannot contact you with important information regarding your bookings and until now, we have been unable to refund you directly.”
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Express.co.uk has contacted the third-party agents for their insight into how they share booking information with Ryanair.
Travellers who are concerned this may apply to them can contact Ryanair using the new “Customer Verification Form”.
The form can be accessed on the Ryanair website.
Ryanair states that once this is submitted and verified customers can “request a refund directly.”
In some instances, passengers may be told that their refund has been sent back to the third party website.
“If you receive confirmation from Ryanair that your booking has already been refunded to the screen scraper that you booked with, you must contact them directly to get your money back,” explains the airline.
“In some cases, these websites requested refunds on behalf of customers but there is no guarantee that they will pass this money on.”
Customers are entitled to their refund back in cash, however, in some cases, they may first receive a voucher.
Ryanair explains this is simply protocol.
“Vouchers are processed automatically so these give you an immediate alternative to a cash refund,” states the website.
Customers who receive a voucher but do not wish to accept it can claim their money on the airline’s website by following links for “Refuse Voucher”.
“Your refund will be processed within the next 3 weeks, for your convenience your voucher will remain valid until your cash refund is processed,” explains the carrier.
Though under current EU regulations, airlines are supposed to submit refunds for cancelled flights within 14 days, things are a little different due to the number of cancellations caused by the pandemic.
The airline adds: “At Ryanair, customer service teams have been working full-time to process refund applications as quickly as possible during the COVID-19 crisis.”
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