**Update: 05/29/20 @ 11:20 UTC – Added a statement from Ryanair**
When it comes to processing refunds, Ryanair is the worst airline, according to a survey by Which?. Around 84% of surveyed passengers were yet to receive their refunds from the carrier. Moreover, passengers have been told they could have to wait up to a year for their money. Let’s find out more.
Ryanair struggles to cope with refunds
Ryanair has been hit with a flurry of refund requests in the last three months, as the airline grounded most of its fleet and canceled nearly all flights. As Europe’s largest carrier, it likely received hundreds of thousands of refund requests. While many other airlines face similar issues, it’s clear that Ryanair has been particularly slow in responding.
The airline suspended refunds a while ago due to a lack of staff and began offering vouchers instead, saying cash refunds could only be processed after the situation has calmed down. This has led to a significant delay in refunds, for the time being, leaving passengers frustrated.
Ryanair provided a comment to Simple Flying, saying,
“Ryanair has already processed €400m in refunds and vouchers since mid-March, which is over one third of the total backlog. Customers to use their voucher or request a free move, as Ryanair has over 1,000 daily flights available from 1 July and has already released part if its summer 2021 schedule. All Ryanair customers on cancelled flights can still apply for a cash refund if they so wish”.
Other airlines performing exceptionally better
According to Which’s survey, some airlines are doing well and providing a majority of their passengers’ refunds. Low-cost carrier Jet2 performed the best, with only 19% of passengers still waiting for a refund. Only 23% of British Airways passengers are still waiting on their refunds. These two carriers top the survey by a wide margin.
However, Ryanair is not the only airline that hasn’t fulfilled refunds for most of its passengers. Rival low cost-carrier easyJet has left 63% of passengers waiting for refunds. While this is lower than Ryanair’s figure, it still is a terrible number. Passengers from both airlines have complained of the airline’s unclear process and unfulfilled refunds.
While these figures are based on a survey, they can be seen as representative of how airlines are dealing with refunds. The more passengers waiting, the more likely it is that an airline is dragging its feet on refunds. Under EU law, passengers must receive their refund within a week of the cancelation. However, with the coronavirus pandemic, airlines are hoping to get a pass on these rules.
While airlines around the world are struggling with a vast number of refunds to process, costing millions, they have tried to make the process as smooth as possible for travelers. Ryanair, on the other hand, has left passengers to navigate the confusing process themselves with little support. The airline has also been accused of misleading passengers and offering vouchers after refund requests have been sent in.
As the industry continues to reel from the financial blow of the coronavirus, it is essential to prioritize passenger refunds. Ryanair has resumed flights and seen a booking surge in the last week, which could mean the airline is returning to normal operations and will begin clearing refunds.
What do you think about Ryanair’s performance? Are you waiting for a refund from Ryanair? Let us know in the comments below.