Ryanair dismisses claims it owes travel agents refunds for cancelled flights
"Ryanair has not dealt with travel agents for over 20 years."
Ryanair has dismissed what it called "false claims" made by the Irish Travel Agents Association regarding refunds to travel agents.
The airline issued a statement on Tuesday saying it has not dealt with travel agents for 20 years and does not allow unauthorised third parties make bookings on the Ryanair website.
The statement comes after Pat Dawson, chief executive of the Irish Travel Agents Association (ITAA), said on Monday that many travel agents were having trouble receiving refunds from Ryanair.
He said there are numerous cases of travel agencies and customers awaiting refunds for cancelled Ryanair flights. The flights were booked on the Ryanair website by ITAA member agents on behalf of their customers, Dawson said.
Ryanair responded by saying "a small number of passengers who booked through unauthorised third party travel agents have not and will not receive refunds unless they request their refund by filling in the Customer Verification Form on the Ryanair website so that Ryanair may route any refund directly to the consumer rather than via third party travel agents".
The airline said if Irish travel agents "wish to get refunds for their customers, then all they have to do is to ask those customers to apply directly to Ryanair".
It also said all customers who booked directly with Ryanair and who have requested a refund have received it.
"Despite the fact that these travel agents or other third parties are not authorised to make booking on Ryanair.com, this practice continues, regrettably with many travel agents using fake customer contact and fake customer payment details to mask the fact that they are overcharging unsuspecting customers for higher airfares or hidden add-ons or fees for their valueless service," a Ryanair spokesperson said.
"Ryanair’s lowest fares are always available on a first come, first served basis to end-consumers on our website and this Covid-19 crisis has exposed the fact that many Irish travel agents have been overcharging consumers, for making unauthorised bookings on the Ryanair website and entering fake customer contact details and fake payment details to mask their hidden fees and add-ons and their anti-consumer practices.”
In an interview on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland programme on Monday, Ryanair Group Chief Executive Michael O’Leary said: “There are some people out there with vouchers who have the option of receiving a cash refund.
"If they want to click on the voucher for a cash refund, they will receive it within five days.
"There's no backlog. All refunds have now been issued.”