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Ryanair Won’t Offer Refunds for Flights during Lockdown

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Despite the UK government banning all but essential travel in England, Ryanair will not be offering its customers refunds for flights throughout November.

Chief executive of Ryanair, Michael O’Leary, said that passengers would not receive a refund if the flight was still operating, but that they would not have to pay a fee to delay the flight to a later date if they chose to do so.

“There won’t be refunds on flights that are operating and travelling,” O’Leary said, “but we’ve waived the change fees for bookings.”

Ryanair said that it has almost cleared its backlog of refunds for cancelled flights from the Spring. The budget airline has paid out £1.35bn so fair in cash refunds or vouchers.

Travel editor of the consumer group Which?, Rory Boland, said: “While Ryanair has recently made some improvements, we still get more complaints about its handling of refunds than any other airline, including from a steady stream of passengers still struggling to get their money back.

“Ryanair now risks adding insult to injury by refusing to refund passengers who cannot fly this month because of the latest lockdown. Some airlines have consistently broken the rules and ignored warnings from the regulator, which, without the ability to issue fines or take swift action, is unable to enforce the law. The government must urgently review the Civil Aviation Authority’s powers.”

Ryanair warns that new national lockdowns across Europe will lead to further cancellations of flights. Many countries in Europe will be under lockdown throughout November, with England’s lockdown lasting until 2 December.

O’Leary vented his frustrations regarding the lockdowns, claiming that they are ‘completely ineffective’.

The chief executive’s comments come as Ryanair reported losses for the first half of the year. The airline lost £178m for the six months up until 30 September as it carried 80% fewer passengers, warning that its losses in the second half would be even greater.

“In the second half, we are running at 40% capacity. We may have to pull that back further if there are further lockdowns across Europe in November, December, into the first quarter,” said O’Leary.

Despite airlines being grounded during the lockdowns in March and April, O’Leary said that some flights could still operate throughout the second lockdown: “We don’t see ourselves being locked down completely as we were in the first quarter of this year.”

However, O’Leary added that Ryanair has ‘no idea what will happen to bookings over Christmas’, which is typically a busy time of year for airlines.

Harry Pererra
Harry Pererra

Harry turns on his experience in journalism and programming to write about the latest news in the world of tech and the environemtn. When he isn’t writing for usave he is working towards his Blue Belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and prefers dogs to cats.

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