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I bought a Ryanair return ticket from Zadar (Croatia) to Wroclaw (Poland) in February 2020, and my flight was scheduled for the middle of May. On March 21 I received an official mail that I was able to cancel my reservation and claim a full refund of the unused flight(s), and I did that. In the same mail they wrote: Refunds will be processed within 7 working days back to the form of payment used for the original booking. That period already passed, but on March 28 I received a second mail, and this is in short the body of the message:

Due to the high volume of flight cancellations due to COVID 19, we are experiencing an unprecedented high volume of requests. We are currently working through the backlog and ask that you please bear with us... Please do not resubmit your request.

All this time I am very patient, but today I got a third mail from Ryanair:

Dear Customer, The spread of the Covid-19 Virus and associated Government travel restrictions, continues to have a negative impact on the schedules of all Ryanair Group Airlines. As a result of this we want to offer our customers as much flexibility as possible in relation to their scheduled travel plans. We are now offering you the following options in relation to your booked flight.

  • You can change your flight to any date in the next 3 months, up to Aug 31 2020.

  • The flight change fee will be waived in full.

  • You will only have to pay the difference in fare.

  • This flight date change will only apply to the route you have already booked.

  • Please do not try to change to another date in May.

We apologise for any inconvenience caused by this unprecedented crisis. The safety and well-being of our people and customers is our main priority, and we are working closely with the state authorities and we will follow any travel restrictions that are imposed and will continue to comply with all WHO and EASA guidelines to combat the Covid-19 virus. To change your travel date, click on My Bookings below.

What should I do? I was travelling to Wroclaw for Erasmus+ staff week, which is postponed.

EDIT:

Few moments ago I received another official mail, it is very logical, and I will keep with patience...

Dear Customer,

I refer to our recent correspondence regarding your refund request on booking XYZZYX

As previously advised, our Customer Services Team are experiencing an unprecedented high volume of requests due to the COVID-19 crisis and we are prioritising our most vulnerable customers. This has been compounded by government public health restrictions on non-essential work travel which means we have less staff available to us during this busy time. Please rest assured your refund request is currently in the queue and will be processed. If you have selected new travel dates and would prefer to move your booking, please contact us

We appreciate your patience at this time.

Yours sincerely, Ryanair Customer Services

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    Thnx for the comment, I am asking for an advice: Shall I insist on a refund? They wrote that it will be processed within 7 working day... Does anyone have some experience with such issue?? Next, Ryanair will not use Zadar airport in this year, so changing the flight is very complicated in my situation. Next airport closest to me (and where Ryainir operate) is in Italy :/ Apr 8 '20 at 12:17
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    This is clearly opinion-based. I voted to close. Apr 8 '20 at 20:02
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    The "pay the difference in fare" would give me pause. Just how much of a difference is that going to be?
    – Kyralessa
    Apr 9 '20 at 6:46
  • It is not a constant amount, it depends on many factors... I will keep with patience... Apr 9 '20 at 6:50
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    @ViktorMellgren Paradoxically, he more people that insist on a refund raises the likelihood they go under. Apr 9 '20 at 17:11
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With RyanAir, I would continue to insist on the refund. If it was done on a Visa debit or credit card, I’d ask the bank to reverse it. I suspect that will be faster than waiting for RyanAir. But give the bank the evidence that you’re supposed to get a refund. Otherwise, they’ll say it was a legitimate charge.

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  • Thnx @WGroleau, I will sure try to do smth like that. Yes, I used Visa, but because I purchased a returning ticket in February, my bank take money on March 20. So, my money is already 'disappeared'... I will be patient... Apr 8 '20 at 20:23
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    It may have gone from the bank to RyanAir, but the bank can still take it back.
    – WGroleau
    Apr 8 '20 at 20:50
  • All: I edited the post, after I received another official mail... Apr 8 '20 at 21:24
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    If the Visa trademark is on the debit card, the bank must go by Visa’s rules. I have had debits reversed on my Visa debit cards (two different banks).
    – WGroleau
    Apr 9 '20 at 16:53
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    @AntonVrdoljak That's a credit card. There should be no reason you can't get the charge removed.
    – user91988
    Apr 10 '20 at 14:55
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Refund.

Ryanair are artificially inflating the price of tickets for people who are currently rebooking, as opposed to just buying a brand new ticket.

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    Thanx @TomSelleck for your answer and your link. In my country we have one proverb: Caution Never Enough! Apr 9 '20 at 9:08
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The airlines are desperately trying to shift liability from now (refund you) to the future (carry you on a flight some time after this crisis is over).

I wouldn't fall for it, noone knows how long this crisis will last or whether the airlines that are around today will still be around when it is over.

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  • That's not really answering the question. You can certainly insists on a refund but first you need to get in contact with Ryan Air which is very difficult at the moment. Even if you do, Ryan Air will simply refuse. That's technically illegal but they don't care at this point and there is very little you can do about it. Your best bet would be to try a charge back through your credit card used for original payment.
    – Hilmar
    Apr 8 '20 at 14:01
  • @Hilmar The email address is customerqueries@ryanair.com, and indeed, if they refuse, or don't reply within a month, a chargeback is the best bet
    – Crazydre
    Apr 8 '20 at 18:55
  • Thnx both Hilmar and @Crazydre, especially for email address... Apr 8 '20 at 20:25
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    @Hilmar what makes you think Ryanair will refuse? As much as they’re a somewhat slimy organisation, I’ve not heard of them breaking the law...?
    – Tim
    Apr 8 '20 at 22:11
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    @Tim Even non-slimy organisations do things like this if they are in financial trouble, and it's hard to imagine any airline in the world not currently being in financial trouble. If you have monthly liabilities of X, financial reserves of Y, and income of Z (where, at the moment, Z could be close to 0), at some point you cannot pay some of these liabilities even if your sense of business ethics strongly requires you to pay everybody what they are due.
    – xLeitix
    Apr 10 '20 at 8:53
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Your question, I assume, is: should you accept their offer for a

  • free change of flight within the next 3 months or insist on a refund?

We cannot answer this for you.

Your question (that you must ask yourself) is:

  • is this offer useful for me then: yes
  • if not useful (no planed travel in the next 3 months) then: no

All airlines are having a great deal of problems at the moment and one major one is financial liquidity.

So on the one side it is understandable that they need cash to remain solvent. Thus the offer.

On the otherhand, this airline has not confirmed that if you don't accept their offer that they will nevertheless refund what they owe you (as confirmed in the previous emails).

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  • Thanx @Mark Johnson, very useful A. Apr 8 '20 at 12:45
  • All: I edited the post, after I received another official mail... Apr 8 '20 at 21:24
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My principle is to always get a refund. Money in your pocket is money in your pocket.

If you accept a voucher, you must check its terms and conditions very, very carefully. Unlike a refund, it can have an expiration date (and do you know, for certain, how long the crisis will last?), it can have restrictions, such as not being illegable for certain flights, or paid tickets taking precedent and all other kinds of shenanigans.

This is the main reason I always get a refund. Exception: If I already plan a trip that I can use the voucher for, it is cheaper for me to change it this way (cheaper than refunding and booking new) and there is very low probability my plans will change (or something else interfere). And even in that case I won't accept a voucher, only an immediate rebooking.

A voucher is always to the advantage of the airline, not you. When a company freely offers you something, it is almost always their advantage they have in mind.

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