‘We want money back, not vouchers’ - say Ryanair customers

PUBLISHED: 16:30 22 April 2020

Margaret McCaskill with her husband during a previous holiday in Venice. Photo: Margaret McCaskill.

Margaret McCaskill with her husband during a previous holiday in Venice. Photo: Margaret McCaskill.

Margaret McCaskill

Ryanair customers are complaining that the airline is making it difficult to get refunds for flights cancelled because of the coronavirus and is offering people vouchers to be used within the next 12 months instead.

Greg Jurkiewicz (middle) with his fiancé, Edyta Grzelak, and son, Julian (2). Photo: Greg Jurkiewicz.Greg Jurkiewicz (middle) with his fiancé, Edyta Grzelak, and son, Julian (2). Photo: Greg Jurkiewicz.

An avalanche of complaints by disgruntled customers who were due to fly from Stansted Airport has been made about the airline to this newspaper.

However, Ryanair says that for any cancelled flight it is giving customers all the options set out under EU regulations, including refunds.

Margaret McCaskill, from Elsenham, was due to fly to Budapest and back to Stansted between March 31 and April 4 with her husband, David, as a birthday present for him.

After their flights were cancelled, she says she applied for a refund on March 20, and was told on April 9 that her refund was being processed, only to be told this week “congratulations, here is your voucher”.

Left to right:  Greg Jurkiewicz with his fiancé Edyta Grzelak and son, Julian (2). Photo:  Greg Jurkiewicz.Left to right: Greg Jurkiewicz with his fiancé Edyta Grzelak and son, Julian (2). Photo: Greg Jurkiewicz.

She said: “They really don’t want you to get a refund and they are making it as difficult as possible.

“There is no link to apply for a refund and no one answers the chat.

“You must go in the queue again if you want to apply for a refund.

“We are furloughed, my income is severely affected, my son’s wedding was cancelled and I don’t want another holiday this year. We need the money now.”

Debbie Sumpton with her son during holiday last year. Photo: Debbie Sumpton.Debbie Sumpton with her son during holiday last year. Photo: Debbie Sumpton.

Greg Jurkiewicz, who has been living in Elsenham for 16 years, was due to fly to Warsaw with fiance Edyta Grzelak and their two-year-old son for Easter, to spend time with their family in Poland.

He said: “We applied for a refund on March 24 and received a voucher offer available for 12 months on April 21.

“There is no clear option to apply for an actual cash refund.

“If I wanted to get a full refund I have to wait until Covid-19 passes.

Debbie Sumpton with her son during holiday last year. Photo: Debbie Sumpton.Debbie Sumpton with her son during holiday last year. Photo: Debbie Sumpton.

“Edyta has been furloughed and as such the incomes have to be carefully planned.”

Debbie Sumpton, from Wicken Bonhunt, had a return flight booked for Bergerac cancelled. She was intending to travel with her son and his friend.

She requested a refund, for more than £500, but says a few weeks later was offered vouchers she does not want.

She said: “I will definitely fight it tooth and nail and will not accept a voucher whatsoever.

“I am self-employed and my business is only allowed to accept local customers at the moment, so I am not earning a great deal.

“It goes without saying that the money back would be much appreciated at these times.

“That is even if it is just to put aside to use towards another holiday and give us something to look forward to once all this is over.”

Lisa Williams, from Stansted, was due to fly to Malta with her mother between March 24-31 and has also received a voucher instead of a refund.

She and her husband are furloughed at the moment, so she admits a refund “would be helpful”, but they are considering taking the voucher to help the airline.

“It’s a case of do we accept the voucher and hope they stay in business so we can use it, or should we insist on the refund and also hope they stay in business long enough for us to receive it?” Lisa added.

Sophia Barrett, from Henham, booked flights for herself and three friends to Madrid, to attend the World Dog Show.

When their flights were cancelled on March 30, she received an email from Ryanair saying she could still receive a refund in seven working days – but she said she received an ‘unhelpful’ voucher.

“What a liberty to ask us to apply for the refund and then say, weeks later, ‘here’s a voucher’!

“I doubt I will use this airline again.

“I am furloughed at the moment, two of my friends are out of work and one is a pensioner.

“I feel really cheated by this company.

“In theory, there’s an option to still go for refund.

“However, if you use the ‘click here’ option it takes you to a page which tells you how to redeem the voucher.”

A spokesperson for Ryanair said: “For any cancelled flight, Ryanair is giving customers all of the options set out under EU regulations, including refunds”.

Twitter and Facebook users have been advised by the company to privately message with their booking reference, email address and passenger names to be put into the refund queue.


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