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28 Apr 2020

Ryanair changes cancellation refund policy on cash and vouchers, again

Airline infuriates customers who have asked for cash refund by emailing them about vouchers
Ryanair voucher for refunds on website

Ryanair has further angered thousands of customers waiting on cash refunds for cancelled flights, by emailing them about vouchers it wants to issue instead. The email says vouchers can be exchanged for cash in 12 months.

The airline came under significant criticism last week for changing its policy on refunds for cancelled flights. Despite originally allowing passengers to apply for a cash refund, it subsequently contacted them to say it was offering vouchers for future travel instead. It said cash refunds could still be pursued, but that they would only be paid after the coronavirus crisis passed.

Today, in a subsequent email to customers, it said that these vouchers could be exchanged for cash after 12 months.

Which? has already reported on how Ryanair's policy breaks the law. Customers of Ryanair who had a flight cancelled by the airline can legally claim a full cash refund that must be paid within seven days.

Find more unbiased advice on travel and the coronavirus, award-winning investigations and legal advice on holiday refunds and cancelled flights with Which? Travel.

Ryanair voucher email confuses customers

Hundreds of Ryanair customers who have already asked for cash refunds, some several times, have taken to social media channels to criticise the airlines email. Many are frustrated that Ryanair continues to contact them about vouchers when they have made it clear they want their money back.

The Ryanair email begins by saying 'you have recently received an email with a voucher code to the value if your original booking'. It makes no mention of customers legal right to a cash refund within seven days.

At the end of the email is a link that invites customers to 'click to accept the voucher', It's important that customers don't click, as this may lead to them surrendering their right to a cash refund in seven days.

Ryanair contacted Which? to say: 'Customers who choose not to accept a free move or voucher will be refunded in due course, once this unprecedented crisis is over. '

What are my rights to a Ryanair cancellation refund?

Few Ryanair customers report success in gaining a refund. Some have now been waiting more than six weeks.

You should not accept a voucher, as this is not financially protected. In the unlikely event of Ryanair going bust, you would not be refunded. Instead, continue to insist on your right to a cash refund.

Some frustrated customers have turned to their card provider to claim the cost of the flight back. There have been mixed reports on the success of these claims, but both Visa and Mastercard have told Which? that card holders can claim if they don't wish to accept a voucher.