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Ryanair and BA investigated over refunds for flights during pandemic

‘People should not be left unfairly out of pocket’ says the CMA

The UK’s competition authority confirmed on Wednesday that it has launched an investigation into whether or not Ryanair and British Airways had broken the law by not providing refunds for flights for passengers who could not legally board during the pandemic.

British Airways offered vouchers and rebooking, while Ryanair offered rebooking, but both refused refunds, according to the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).

Andrea Coscelli, chief executive of the CMA, commented: “While we understand that airlines have had a tough time during the pandemic, people should not be left unfairly out of pocket for following the law. 

“Customers booked these flights in good faith and were legally unable to take them due to circumstances entirely outside of their control. We believe these people should have been offered their money back.”

The CMA confirmed it has communicated with both airlines and aiming to find a solution, which could involve refunds or another form of reimbursement for those affected.

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Ryanair responded to the CMA over its claims about the potential of malpractices by the airline.

“Ryanair has approached such refund requests on a case by case basis and has paid refunds in justified cases,” it said.

“Since June 2020, all our customers have also had the ability to rebook their flights without paying a change fee and millions of our UK customers have availed of this option.”

Shares in major travel companies plummeted last week as the UK government removed Portugal from its green list of safe destinations. 

The decision caused chaos among holidaymakers, many of whom rushed to cancel their trips abroad.

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