The Holiday Guru resolves coronavirus-related travel issues, including Airbnb and Ryanair refunds

Can you help get the money I paid for a cancelled Ryanair flight back before Christmas? The Holiday Guru resolves coronavirus-related travel issues

The Holiday Guru is always on hand to answer your questions.

This week, he offers advice on getting refunds back from Airbnb and Ryanair.

Q. We booked a week in Norwich for November on Airbnb and had to cancel the trip. The property owner returned the deposit, but Airbnb is refusing to refund the £98 service charge. Can you help?

Maureen Taylor, via email.

A reader asks the Guru for help on getting her service fee back from Airbnb for a cancelled trip to Norwich

A. This is a grey area. Consumer watchdog the Competition and Markets Authority says that people should expect to get a full refund ‘if no goods or services are provided by a business because this is prevented by lockdown laws’. But Airbnb claims usual cancellation rules apply, which can mean foregoing the service fee.

Q. I have just tried to book a trip for next year through my credit card company, which sells holidays, but I was told that its insurance will not cover any Covid or non-Covid-related issues as I am booking the trip during a lockdown. Is this usual?

Harriet, via email.

A. There is no reason why booking during a lockdown should affect non-Covid insurance. The Association of British Insurers is unaware of this practice. This shows just how important it is to check the terms and conditions.  

Q. I’ve been trying to get a refund from Ryanair for cancelled flights from Edinburgh to Alicante. Ryanair says the payment is being processed, but nothing has happened. Can you help me get my money back before Christmas?

James Johnston, Borrowstounness.

The Guru provides advice on why a reader is still waiting for a refund on cancelled Ryanair flights to Alicante

The Guru provides advice on why a reader is still waiting for a refund on cancelled Ryanair flights to Alicante

A. We contacted Ryanair to get to the bottom of this. It turns out that, as you booked your flight through an ‘online travel agent’ (OTA) rather than directly with Ryanair, you need to go through a ‘customer verification process’ with the airline in order to receive the refund. This can be done at We hope that you can get your money back in time for Christmas. 


If you need advice, the Holiday Guru is here to answer your questions. Email them to