Ryanair promises 90% of customer refunds will be processed by the end of July 3 months ago

Ryanair promises 90% of customer refunds will be processed by the end of July

Ryanair claims a minority of refunds are being blocked due to the use of fake emails and virtual credit cards by online travel agents.

Ryanair has promised that 90% of refunds requested by customers for flights cancelled due to Covid-19 between March and the end of June will be processed by the end of this month.

The airline said on Friday (3 July) that is was making “rapid progress” in processing customer refunds and that additional staff have been trained to eliminate the backlog of customer fund requests since Ryanair’s offices in Dublin reopened on 1 June.

Since then, the airline said, the following progress has been made:

  • All March cash refund requests have now been cleared.
  • At the end of June, 50% of April cash refunds have been cleared.
  • By 15 July, the balance of April cash refunds will be processed.
  • By the end of July, all of May and most of June cash refunds will also be processed.

The figures outlined above include passengers who have accepted travel vouchers and/or free moves onto flights that are now being operated by Ryanair in the months of July, August and September.

Ryanair claims that a “significant minority” of refunds are being blocked due to the use of fake email addresses and virtual credit cards by online travel agents, which cannot be traced back to the individual consumer.

The airline called on these agents to provide accurate details of their “unauthorised bookings” so Ryanair can process the refunds.

Ryanair also called on affected consumers who have not yet received a refund to contact the agents’ customer service to ensure that they have acted on Ryanair’s notification emails and to cooperate with Ryanair so the refunds can be processed.

“We are pleased to have made such significant progress over the month of June in eliminating the backlog of cash refunds due to the Covid-19 flight cancellations,” said Ryanair CEO Eddie Wilson.

“Over 90% of passengers who booked directly with Ryanair and who requested a cash refund for travel between March and June will receive their refunds before the end of July.

“It is worrying, however, that a significant rump of our customers, who made bookings through unauthorised 3rd party 'screenscrapers' / online travel agencies, have yet to receive their refunds because the OTAs (online travel agents) gave Ryanair fake email addresses or virtual credit card details for these customers.

“We are highlighting this fact to the regulators in Ireland (CAR - Commission for Aviation Regulation) and in the UK (CAA - Civil Aviation Authority) as this demonstrates yet again why urgent regulation of unauthorised 'screenscrapers' is needed to ensure that these unauthorised intermediaries provide airlines with accurate email addresses and valid payment details for customers so we can process cash refunds to these customers promptly and efficiently.”

“We will continue to process these cash refunds as fast as we can, and would encourage any customers who haven’t yet requested a cash refund, to do so with our Customer Service team and we will process their request as quickly as possible,” Wilson added.

Ryanair, meanwhile, also said that it welcomed the fact that 100% of the airline’s Irish pilots accepted a four-year agreement including a 20% pay reduction, restored over four years, in an effort to minimise Irish job losses.

The agreement also includes productivity improvements on rosters, flexible working patterns and annual leave, with the airline saying that it will provide a framework to flex Ryanair’s operation during the Covid-19 crisis and a pathway to recovery when the business returns to normal in future.

The British Airline Pilots’ Association (BALPA) and Ryanair UK pilots accepted a similar deal this week, while Ryanair also signed agreements with the Fórsa (Ireland) and UNITE (UK) unions for 10% pay reductions (restored over four years) and productivity improvements for Ryanair cabin crew.

The cabin crew agreements are currently out to ballot.