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Ryanair Worst for Covid Response, Says Consumer Group

Ryanair Worst for Covid Response, Says Consumer Group

Ryanair and Virgin Atlantic were named the worst airlines for Covid-related refunds by UK consumer group Which?.

The Which? study polled over 6,500 passengers and covered 29 airlines, including Jet2, British Airways, and easyJet as well as the two poll-toppers.

The poll rated Ryanair and Virgin Atlantic as the worst for refunds, with passengers of both airlines alleging poor customer service and weeks-long waits to get their money back. Travellers are legally entitled to their money back within 14 days of cancellation, while airlines are obliged to refund passengers within seven days, but no Ryanair passenger surveyed said they had received their refund within the legally allotted timeframe. However, 26 per cent of passengers on the airline said they were satisfied with their refund, whether they accepted a voucher in lieu of a cash refund or waited longer to get their money back. Only 16 per cent of Virgin Atlantic passengers said they were satisfied with their refund offer.

Jet2 received the highest rating, with 83 per cent getting their money back within 28 days and 34 per cent within seven days.

Meanwhile, the UK Competition and Markets Authority has launched an investigation into airlines that refused cash refunds to passengers who couldn’t fly because of lockdown restrictions. Which? Travel Editor Rory Boland said: “As the UK approaches the anniversary of the first nationwide lockdown, it’s vital that lessons are learned from the previous handling of refunds and cancellations. Airlines cannot be allowed to continue to behave in this way, so the CMA and CAA must be ready to act if any are found to still be breaking the law on refunds.”

Not surprisingly, Ryanair dismissed the Which? study as ‘fake news’ and insisted that “all Ryanair passengers who have requested a refund since our offices reopened on June 1 have now received these refunds.”

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Fionn Davenport is the editor-in-chief of the ITTN group, including ITTN and ITTN Ireland. He's one of Ireland's best-known travel journalists and writers, with nearly 30 years' experience writing guidebooks for Lonely Planet and others.

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