News, Culture & Society

Ryanair tells outraged customers they cannot get flight refunds until coronavirus crisis is over

Ryanair tells outraged customers they cannot get flight refunds until coronavirus crisis is over even though airline is sitting on £3.5BILLION cash reserves

  • Customers wanting a full refund will be put in a queue until the pandemic passes
  • Ryanair has recommended customers use a refund voucher which are available
  • The airline has strong liquidity and is sitting on significant cash reserves  
  • Learn more about how to help people impacted by COVID

Customers of Ryanair who have had their flights cancelled as a result of the pandemic were told anyone requesting a full refund will be put in a queue until the coronavirus crisis has passed (Ryanair’s Michael O’Leary pictured)

Ryanair passengers have hit out at the airline after they were offered vouchers instead of refunds.

Customers of Ryanair who have had their flights cancelled as a result of the pandemic were told anyone requesting a full refund will be put in a queue until the coronavirus crisis has passed.

An email from the flight operator sent to some customers awaiting a refund read: ‘You can request a cash refund however bear in mind we will place your request in the cash refund queue until the COVID-10 emergency has passed. ‘We highly recommend using the refund voucher as these are readily available and you can book flights on all Ryanair Group airlines in over 200 destinations in Europe and the Middle East.’   

With flights grounded across the UK, many customers have been left furious that the company has issued a vouchers as an alternative.       

Ryanair passengers have hit out at the airline after they were offered vouchers instead of refunds

Ryanair passengers have hit out at the airline after they were offered vouchers instead of refunds

The airline explained: ‘As our payment agents are required to stay at home in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic, payment security restrictions prevent us from processing cash refunds.’   

Ryanair told MailOnline: ‘For any cancelled flight, Ryanair is giving customers all of the options set out under EU regulations, including refunds’. 

Customers took to Twitter to voice their concerns: 

Furious customers took to Twitter to express their frustration and to ask for refunds

Furious customers took to Twitter to express their frustration and to ask for refunds

Ryanair has strong liquidity and is sitting on cash reserves of 4 billion Euros, or £3.5bn and is therefore in a better position to withstand a prolonged grounding than most of its competitors. Ryanair told Forbes it is also taking ‘immediate action to reduce operating expenses, and improve cash flows.’  

That included grounding surplus aircraft, deferring all capex and share buybacks, freezing recruitment, discretionary spending and asking staff to take voluntary leave, temporarily suspending employment contracts, and reducing working hours and payments, as reported by Forbes.  

Meanwhile Virgin Australia has gone into voluntary administration with Deloitte drafted in to try to find a buyer amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

Sir Richard Branson, the co-founder of Virgin Australia, vowed ‘this is not the end’ for the franchise and told colleagues in a tweet that he believed it was a ‘new beginning.’

It comes as founder Sir Richard fights to save Virgin Atlantic in the UK, amid fears it could also go under because of the coronavirus.

The Virgin Group boss, who is estimated to be worth more than £3.5billion said Virgin Atlantic needs UK taxpayer support in the form of a commercial loan, with reports indicating that the carrier is asking for up to £500 million of public money.

The billionaire businessman offered his own private Caribbean island of Necker, estimated by Forbes to be worth £80m – less than one fifth of the figure being requested – as collateral for any taxpayer cash used to save the struggling airline.

Virgin Australia, which is 10 per cent owned by Sir Richard, has not collapsed but will be managed by accountants from Deloitte while it restructures and looks for a buyer. 

Earlier this month it was announced that easyJet will get £600m from the government and will borrow £407m

It came after easyJet grounded its fleet in response to the pandemic.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk