Airlines refuse and delay refunds….during Covid 19 crisis

04 May 2020

Airlines have more or less shut down for ordinary passenger travel…. Where a flight is cancelled, the legal position is clear, the airline must refund within seven working days. Period.
 
Yeah…. right.

Clients, both corporate and private, have started to inquire of us about air ticket refunds. The issue hit the Radio 4 Today programme. When these clients contacted Ryanair, they tell us, they were offered full refunds. Indeed, they praised Ryanair for putting up a website to facilitate the claims. Then, suddenly, Ryanair has reversed its position and is instead offering vouchers. The issue has also been reported in the Guardian and the Evening Standard newspapers.

In place of the refund promised initially, clients have been sent an email. The email contains a link advising them how to use Ryanair vouchers to swap for alternative flights over the next year. Why the vouchers are limited to a year is not clear and not explained in the email or the website.

Passengers, the email makes clear, can still request a cash refund. But this “request” will be placed in a  holding pattern or, more precisely “in the cash refund queue until the Covid-19 emergency has passed”. Quite what this means is not defined either.

The legal position is quite clear: full refunds must be made by the airline if flights are cancelled. Such refunds are to be provided in seven working days.

Regulators need to get more active here. The relevant regulator is the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). The CAA must start instructing airlines to start making refunds, no ifs or buts, and it needs to do this now.

The second legal option is to approach your bank, if payment was made by card, and make what is called a chargeback (usually in the case of a debit card payment but it can be used for credit cards) or section 75 claim request (for credit cards under the Consumer Credit Act).

 

Further reading

Good Divorce Week - divorce and financial matters FAQs

Blog
28/11/2022
In recognition of 'Good Divorce Week', we answer some frequently asked questions relating to divorce and financial matters
Read more Read

Choosing the right Family lawyer for you

Blog
24/11/2022
DMH Stallard’s Family law experts, Natasha Slabas and Samantha Jago, talk to John Young about how we can help you if you are struggling with a legal issue and looking for a lawyer
Read more Read

The trials and tribulations of extortionate credit transactions

Blog
23/11/2022
Frank Bouette explains the Court considerations when deciding whether a credit transaction should be set aside as extortionate
Read more Read

When does a director owe a primary duty to creditors?

Blog
23/11/2022
The Supreme Court recently confirmed when a director’s duty to creditors comes into effect, if their company is in the ‘twilight’ zone of potential insolvency
Read more Read
  • Brighton - Jubilee St

    1 Jubilee Street

    Brighton

    East Sussex

    BN1 1GE

  • Brighton - Old Steine

    47 Old Steine

    Brighton

    East Sussex

    BN1 1NW

  • Gatwick

    Griffin House

    135 High Street

    Crawley

    West Sussex

    RH10 1DQ

  • Guildford

    Wonersh House

    The Guildway

    Old Portsmouth Road

    Guildford

    Surrey

    GU3 1LR

  • Hassocks

    32 Keymer Road

    Hassocks

    West Sussex

    BN6 8AL

  • Horsham

    Ridgeland House

    15 Carfax

    Horsham

    West Sussex

    RH12 1DY

  • London

    6 New Street Square

    New Fetter Lane

    London

    EC4A 3BF

  • Make an enquiry

    Make an enquiry

    Message

    Or head to our Contact us page