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Ryanair bans passengers who claimed Covid refund during the pandemic

Ryanair bans passengers who claimed Covid refund during the pandemic

Ryanair DAC, the Irish low-cost airline, is reportedly being accused of banning customers, who claimed refunds against their flight cancellations during the height of the coronavirus pandemic and the ensuing lockdowns, from boarding new flights this year until they return their respective refunds to the carrier.

At the time of the lockdowns, Ryanair continued to operate several of its routes despite the fact that most travelers were effectively prohibited from traveling due to government regulations.

The airline seemingly denied refunds to the lockdown-affected passengers who were unable to travel, causing many of them to seek out chargebacks from their respective credit card companies, particularly American Express (Amex).

As per an investigation conducted by UK's largest consumer website, MoneySavingExpert (MSE), travelers who sought out reimbursements from their credit card operators have been met with last-minute charges of up to £600 if they wish to fly with Ryanair.

Three of those travelers, who booked new Ryanair flights for this year, have been told by the airline that they can only fly Ryanair again if they repay the money they took as refunds. In fact, one of the passengers was blind-sided by this ultimatum just a couple of hours before boarding their flight.

MSE further claimed that Ryanair's fraud department has sought reimbursements of between £400 and £630 in at least two cases. The platform added that it has come across a number of similar instances on social networking sites, and its own consumer form.

Apparently, in May of 2020, MSE reported that some Ryanair employees had effectively threatened to ban the customers who tried to get a refund by choosing chargeback, a claim the carrier disputed at the time.

Guy Anker, deputy editor, MSE, stated that Ryanair’s approach to customers is outrageous. The airline essentially put its passengers in front of a barrel shortly before they were to take off for their holiday, turning their excitement into anxiety and stress.

However, to defend itself, Ryanair claimed that it always has been a ‘no-refunds airline’ from the beginning and the terms and conditions also allow them to do the same.

Recently, the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority announced that it has dropped its inquiry into whether Ryanair, and British Airways, broke the law by refusing to provide reimbursements to passengers who were unable to lawfully fly due to lockdown restrictions.

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Sunil Jha

Sunil Jha has been a part of the content industry for close to two years. Having previously worked as a voice over artist and sportswriter, he now focuses on writing articles for, across a slew of topics, ranging from technology to trade and finance. With a business-oriented educational background, Sunil brings forth the expertise of deep-dive research and a strategic approach in his write ups.