Ryanair refunds will not be seen in passengers’ bank accounts for a year due to the coronavirus pandemic, the airline has warned. In their latest refund update, Ryanair has said vouchers and free changes to other flights are being issued for cancelled flights. However, those who wish for a cash refund will only receive it “once this crisis has passed.”
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Ryanair passengers will be able to exchange vouchers for cash after a 12 month period if they have not redeemed them in this time.
The Irish budget airline explained on their website: “The processing time for cash refunds is taking far longer than normal as we are processing over 1,000 times the normal volume of cancellations.
“We also have 75 percent fewer staff available to process refunds due to social distancing restrictions.
“Ryanair is offering vouchers and free moves as these are automated and give customers an immediate alternative.
“Unfortunately, cash refunds cannot be automated.
“Customers who choose a voucher, but don’t redeem it within 12 months may still apply for and obtain a refund after this 12 month period.”
A Ryanair spokesman added: “This also includes partial redemption, as the portion of the unused voucher will be refunded.
“Customers who choose not to accept a free move or voucher will be refunded in due course, once this unprecedented crisis is over,” he told Express.co.uk.
“We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause and we thank our customers for bearing with us”.
The news comes after a number of airlines informed customers who thought they were getting refunds that they would offer vouchers instead.
Rory Boland, editor of Which? Travel, commented on the latest update: “This latest shift in Ryanair’s refund policy shows blatant disregard for the many customers who have been strung along by the airline while they desperately try to get their money back.
“Ryanair’s repeated attempts to push vouchers on customers who have been clear that they want the refund they are legally entitled to are completely unacceptable.
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“It is time for the CAA to get tough with the many airlines openly flouting the law and those playing fast and loose with the rules.
“The government must set out how it intends to support airlines so they can meet their legal obligations and refund their passengers.”
Under current EU law, customers are entitled to a refund within 14 days for cancelled package holidays and within seven days for cancelled flights.
However, as airlines become inundated with requests this is becoming an increasingly difficult deadline to meet.
ABTA says travel vouchers are crucial in helping companies stay afloat.
Meanwhile, Money Saving Expert Martin Lewis has advised travellers to think “ethically and morally” before hounding for a refund.
“It’s because the travel firms are in terrible stress at the moment so if you can take a voucher do, give them forbearance,” he said.
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