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In early February we booked flights from Frankfurt Intl to Porto with Ryanair (2 adults, 1 infant). The inbound flight is supposed to take place on April 13th and the outbound flight on May 1st.

In the last days, due to Corona, we were confident this vacation wouldn't happen assuming Ryanair would cancel both flights.

However, today we got an email from Ryanair offering us to change our flights to a date later than April for free. However, we are unwilling to change the flights to a date in May (we think Corona will still be around) and can't change them to a date later than May due to personal reasons. So, we can't take the offer.

I would now like to know if this is only a first measure Ryanair is taking to essentially try to keep the money they already received before actually cancelling the flights? Or in other words, will Ryanair cancel the flights at a later time offering us a full refund?

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  • Will they? I don’t think anybody knows yet, though it’s quite likely. But yes, like everybody else in the industry, they are trying to make sure they can hold on to the money rather than refund. Since it’s basically impossible to make any plans anyway, I would personally probably wait for the flight to be actually cancelled.
    – jcaron
    Mar 16 '20 at 20:33
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    This isn't a ploy by Ryanair to keep more money. If you change the dates, any cancellation/refund policy is going to apply to the new flights instead. Mar 16 '20 at 22:10
  • We are not clairvoyant, and no one here is an insider in Ryanair's management, so any answer will necessarily be speculative or unverifiable. I'm afraid your guess is as good as anyone else's.
    – choster
    Mar 18 '20 at 14:29
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This is an unprecedented situation that we find ourselves in, therefore there is little which is really known and below is more of an opinion.

Of course Ryanair would prefer to keep you as a customer, and hence earn money from you, this is only natural. They are doing this by offering you a free change to other flights later in the year.

However, they cannot force you to accept this if it doesn't suit you personally (the reasons why it doesn't suit you are irrelevant).

As such, given the situation then you need to push Ryanair back and tell them that rebooking does not work for you, and that as such you request a full refund.

If they state that the flights are still going ahead, then you need to point out to them that due to the German government restrictions then no non-essential travel should be undertaken at this time and hence you are forbidden from travelling.

You can also quote Mrs Merkel

Das beinhaltet und bringt mit sich auch, dass es keine Urlaubsreisen ins In- und auch keine ins Ausland geben soll.

Translation:

This implies and entails that there should be no vacation trips in Germany or abroad.

Source: https://www.pnp.de/nachrichten/politik/Merkel-Keine-Urlaubsreisen-mehr-ins-In-und-Ausland-3637854.html

I would suggest that it is highly likely that Ryanair will cancel the flights, in which case you just have to wait it out. They won't want to fly a half empty plane as it would lose them even more money.

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