Row about Ryanair’s refund policy grows wings
Last week’s item on Ryanair’s reluctance to return the taxes due to people who have paid for, but not taken, flights with the airline prompted other people to get in touch.
Peter Lannon recently booked a Ryanair flight from Dublin to Bristol. Initially he had booked a flight leaving on a Monday morning but as his requirements changed he booked a second flight for the evening before. “At the airport I went to the Ryanair ticket sales desk to inform them that I would not be taking the Monday morning flight and I was advised by the girl working there that I could write to Ryanair and request a refund of the taxes and charges.” He did so, and got a reply stating that he wasn’t entitled to a refund. “What I find even more strange is that on a recent flight I chose the insurance option by mistake, yet when I e-mailed later to cancel and ask for a refund, it was processed with no problems! So how can Ryanair have admin fees for one refund but none for another?”
We also heard from the Dublin Airport Authority who said that, contrary to what we were told by Ryanair last week, passengers were entitled to a refund of more than the British Government Air Passenger Duty (APD) which is €15.43. A spokeswoman said that passengers who do not travel are also entitled to a refund of the airport charge. At Dublin Airport the airport charge is €6.34 per passenger journey.
All airlines at Dublin airport collect this airport charge on behalf of the DAA for every passenger who has travelled on board their aircraft to and from Dublin airport. “The DAA is paid this airport charge only when a passenger has travelled on a flight. It is important to note that if a passenger misses or cancels a flight or if the airline cancels a flight the DAA is not paid the airport charge,” a spokeswoman said.
Last week Ryanair told us its charge for issuing refunds was €20 per ticket so anyone who bought a ticket but did not fly to London was not entitled to any money back. So unless PriceWatch’s maths is pretty bad it would appear that everyone who books but does not use a Ryanair ticket to Britain is entitled to a €1.77 refund.
We contacted the airline to see how it could process a refund on an insurance charge for nothing and also to find out why it was not giving people who applied for refunds the money they seem to be owed.
A spokesman said travel insurance was provided by Primary Insurance and, before purchase, both parties agree to a cooling-off period during which the transaction may be refunded free of charge. He reiterated the airline’s position that the British government airport duty could be refunded, subject to an administration fee of €20, “half the fee charged by British Airways”. The spokesman said that the claim from the DAA that passengers were entitled to a refund of the airport charge was “simply false”. He said the “passenger service charge in Dublin is not refundable. Any passenger who can not fly on their original date of choice is entitled to change their booking”.
A couple of readers defended the airlines. “The rip-off is not from Ryanair but the people who impose these taxes and charges” wrote one “overtaxed and charged passenger” from Dublin. He points out that the cost of a flight to Paris with Aer Lingus is €64 with the taxes and charges amounting to €61.99 of the total.