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Ryanair refund – how to get your money back on cancelled flights

RYANAIR is set to axe 3,250 jobs and slash staff pay by 20 per cent due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Today, the airline released its trading results where it warned of an expected record loss of over €200million in the first three months of 2021.

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Ryanair expects to operate just one per cent of its planned flights between April and June this year
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Ryanair expects to operate just one per cent of its planned flights between April and June this yearCredit: Reuters

Despite making a profit of €1billion (£894million) in the year to March 31, 2020, the airline expects to carry fewer than 80million passengers next year - almost 50 per cent below its original 154million target.

Most of Ryanair's fleet is currently grounded and it expects to operate less than 1 per cent of its planned flying schedule between April and June this year.

If your flight has been affected then you'll be keen to know exactly how you can get your money back. Here, we take you through your rights:

My flight's been cancelled - can I get a refund?

If the airline has cancelled your flights then you are entitled to a full refund under the Denied Boarding Regulation.

This covers flights booked with a European airline or ones that have departed from, or landed in, an airport in the EU.

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They have seven days from when they cancelled your flight to refund the money.

In some cases, you're legally entitled to compensation if the flight has been cancelled fewer than 14 days before departure.

But because the coronavirus pandemic is considered to be an "extraordinary circumstance", airlines won't have to pay out more than the cost of your flight.

Why is Ryanair offering me a voucher?

Many airlines are offering customers credit notes or vouchers instead of a refund, which you can use to book a holiday at a later date.

But the risk is that the credit notes are invalidated if the airline goes bust, leaving passengers out of pocket.

Some passengers are also in desperate need of the cash because the outbreak has had a damaging effect on their household finances.

You don't have to accept a credit note and can request a cash refund instead.

While some airlines, such as easyJet, are refunding passengers if they don't accept the vouchers, Ryanair is refusing to hand the money back until the coronavirus crisis is over.

Instead, travellers are being offered vouchers equal to the cost of the grounded flight that is valid for 12 months.

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Passengers can then choose to use them to book new flights in the future or, if they're not used within 12 months, they will be automatically exchanged for a cash refund.

In an email to customers, the airline said: "Please note that if you do not use the voucher before the expiry date you will receive a full cash refund.

“In the event you use the voucher in part, you will also receive the option of voucher for the balance or a cash refund after the expiry date.”

It has also said that it is experiencing delays processing the refunds and vouchers due to staff social distancing.

Should I accept the voucher?

Consumer group Which? says Ryanair is breaking the law by not processing cash refunds to customers within seven days.

Which? is also advising customers not to click on the email link to accept the voucher, as this could lead to passengers surrendering their rights to a cash refund.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has announced it will investigate holiday firms over unfair coronavirus cancellations.

What if my flight isn't cancelled but Government advice says I can't go?

Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary hopes to restore 40 per cent of flights from July - and passengers will be required to take a temperature check and wear face masks.

But the Government isn't expected to lift a ban on all non-essential travel by then, leaving passengers still unable to go on their holiday.

In these circumstances, the airline isn't responsible for issuing a refund as the flight was able to go ahead.

Instead, passengers will have to go through other routes to get their money back.

Is there another way to get my money back?

If you've tried to get a refund from Ryanair but you've been refused, you may also be able to claim your money back through your credit or debit card provider.

Video shows packed Ryanair flight from Stansted to Lisbon with no social distancing as boss announces 40% of flights to return

Credit card payments between £100 and £30,000 are covered under Section 75 of the Consumer Rights Act.

To start a claim, you need to contact your credit card provider directly - Which? has a free tool that can help you do this.

If you booked by debit card, you may be able to claim a refund via your bank using the Chargeback scheme.

Chargeback can be used to reclaim cash for goods and services you didn't receive.

Claims apply for purchases made by debit card, or by credit card for purchases under £100, and must be done within 120 days of the transaction.

To start a chargeback claim, you need to contact your card provider but as it isn’t written into law there is no guarantee you’ll get your money back.

If you have travel insurance, it may be worth speaking to your provider but they're less likely to refund you as it should be the airline's responsibility.

Check the terms and conditions of your policy to see what it says regarding cancellations.

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