Brits who were planning to fly with Ryanair, who have been refused a refund, may be able to claim their cash back through their credit card provider or bank.
The budget airline has grounded almost its entire fleet – over 99% – in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
The carrier is running just a small number of routes for “emergency reasons” until at least May 14.
It makes sense, as the UK government has warned against non-essential travel, and so millions of flights have been cancelled.
However, Ryanair has angered their customers by refusing to give cash and only offering vouchers instead.
Those who refuse the vouchers are placed in a ”cash refund queue” until such a time as the pandemic is over.
As more than 13.5million passengers flew with Ryanair in the month of April last year, the numbers are staggering.
The airline says that as its payment agents must remain at home they are unable to process the cash refunds at this time.
If you really need your money back though, there are different ways to claim.
Credit Card Provider
Firstly, for purchases between £100 and £30k made on a credit card your card provider is jointly liable if you do not get what you paid for.
This is because of Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act.
In this way, you could claim a full refund from the credit provider for your cancelled flights.
If your flights haven’t yet been officially cancelled, you’ll have to wait until they are to claim because the provider will still see the service as going ahead.
If you think you can claim, contact your provider directly.
Which? has a free tool to help with this.
You need to make a claim within six years of buying the service for this to be valid.
If you made more than one transaction – for example flights and hotel – you’ll need to make separate claims.
Be aware of a grey area, whereby if you pay for goods through an agent, like a travel agent or third party, your provider could say that it doesn’t have a “direct relationship” with the supplier.
If you’re unsuccessful, you can take it to the Financial Ombudsman Service for free.
Another route to take is to claim from your bank.
If you paid on a debit card – that’s your regular bank card – then you may be able to take advantage of Chargeback.
This also applies to credit card purchases of less than £100.
This is a guarantee offered by your card provider and is not legally binding.
Again, contact your card provider directly.
For Chargeback you normally need to claim within 120 days of making the purchase.
The government’s Money Advice Service warns that this type of claim can take a while to process as the money needs to be refunded from Ryanair to the provider before they can pass it to you.
Again, if unsuccessful, take it to the Financial Ombudsman Service for free.
Unfortunately, again you’ll likely need to wait until your flight is officially cancelled.
Finally, you may be able to claim for cancelled flights through your travel insurer.
However, you may have to pay an excess fee to get your money.
Plus, many do not cover coronavirus cancellations, so check your paperwork.
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