Coronavirus: Ryanair customers frustrated at struggle to get refund for cancelled flights
James Tagg has been trying since last Sunday to get his £900 refund as many report the refund link is broken
Friday, 20th March 2020, 5:55 pm
Updated Friday, 20th March 2020, 5:56 pmCustomers including James Tagg report not being able to get their refund back via the Ryanair website (Photos: Left, James Tagg, and right, Stina Stjernkvist/AFP via Getty Images)
Ryanair has been accused of “making it difficult” for customers to obtain a refund after their flights were cancelled amid the coronavirus outbreak.
People have received emails informing them of the cancellations due to the pandemic and offering them the option to have a refund or change their cancelled flight to a future date for free.
However, many have taken to social media to report that they are getting error messages on the company’s website when they try to apply for the refund.
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A forum thread on MoneySavingExpert entitled “Trouble getting the Ryanair ‘get refund’ button to work” posted today has so far had 169 replies. There was also a petition about the issue, started a couple of days ago, that’s been signed by more than 800 people.
James Tagg paid £900 – £180 per person – to travel to Prague with his party of five for a stag do on 27 March. The 34-year-old told i he received an email on Sunday to say he could claim his refund but despite multiple attempts he’s been unable to get it processed.
Struggling to get through
“You click on the refund link and it says ‘There was a problem refunding your flight,” said the civil servant from Newport, Wales.
“It then asks you to fill in an online form that will go to customer services, but then it tells you your reference number isn’t valid. I’ve tried calling customer services and using their chat bot but couldn’t get through. I’ve tried tweeting them and I’ve seen them reply to customers trying to change their flight. But they seem to be ignoring a lot of people asking about their refunds.”
James, second from left, with his friends who were meant to be going to Prague (Photo: James Tagg)
James asked Twitter users who are also struggling to get refunds to like and share his post to get the airline’s attention – it has now been liked more than 800 times. “A lot of people are cynical about it,” he added. “They seem to be making it very difficult for customers to get their money back. There’s just no communication at all.”
One customer reported having luck getting their refund processed in the early hours of the morning when the company’s servers were not overloaded.
Confusion over flights
Customers say they are frustrated with the lack of communication from Ryanair (Photo: Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
Patricia Watson, from Llandudno, Wales, also spent days trying to get a refund on a cancelled Prague flight – finally she got through today but has hit out at the length of time her refund could take.
“The message says your refund request ‘once approved’ will be processed within seven working days,” said the B&B owner. “Then the refund will show in your account within five to seven days, so it sounds like I won’t get my refund got up to 14 days.”
There are also reports online from passengers claiming that Ryanair had emailed them to state their flights were reinstated with only a couple of hours or minutes’ notice to get to the airport, according to The Independent.
Ryanair told the paper: “These flights were reinstated for repatriation purposes.”
When i contacted the company’s press office we received an auto-response email saying it was not replying to media queries at present because staff are currently dealing with customer-focused communications.
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