Ryanair passengers say they are still awaiting Covid-19 refunds

Michael O’Leary says ‘every customer that has requested a refund for us has received it’

Ryanair planes seen grounded at Dublin Airport during Level 5 Covid-19 lockdown. Photograph: Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Ryanair planes seen grounded at Dublin Airport during Level 5 Covid-19 lockdown. Photograph: Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images

 

Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary’s claim that all passengers who have requested a refund as result of Covid-19 cancellations have been refunded, has been dismissed by passengers and travel agents .

Passengers have contacted The Irish Times to say they have been left waiting many months for money back while a spokesman for the outward bound travel sector in Ireland claimed travel agents and tour operators were still owed some €20m by the airline.

In an RTE Radio interview on Monday morning Mr O’Leary claimed that “every customer that has requested a refund for us has received it” and he added that there was “no backlog on refunds, all the refunds have been issued”.

He also likened social media posts from frustrated passengers still waiting for money back from the airline to claims made by former US president Donald Trump that he won the last November’s presidential election.

Head of the Irish Travel Agent’s Association (ITAA) Pat Dawson said members of his umbrella group “continue to have problems with accessing flight refunds from Ryanair” with the issue affecting bricks and mortar travel agents and online travel agents alike.

Mr Dawson said travel agents had sent in thousands of claims to Ryanair in order to refund their customers with affected flight bookings, with the airline withholding refunds to both travel agents and customers .

He highlighted a travel agent in Munster whom, he said, was owed €60,000 while he said travel agent specialising in school tours was waiting for refunds of half a million euro, and a prominent travel agency was due refunds for 1,400 customers.

“We want to work with Ryanair in getting customers refunded. But we have to go with Ryanair’s mechanisms which are cumbersome,” Mr Dawson said as he asked customers “to be patient”.

Some customers also said they were still waiting for refunds, despite claims made by Mr O’Leary.

Noel Scanlon said he had received an email from the airline dated the end of November confirming he would have a cheque within 15 days. At the beginning of February he was still waiting. Another would-be passenger called Tommy Keane said he had been waiting for a refund since last June.

Laura Conway said she was also waiting for money back “even though I got an email in November to tell me my refund had been processed and I would get it shortly”.

Allison Morris said she had never got a refund. She said she was “offered alternative flights but there were no future flights to book. Flying Ryanair is like childbirth, every time you do it you say never again, next thing you know you’re on a delayed flight cursing your bad life choices.”.