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I have read this question & answer, and it convinced me that the best I can do with respect to my May 22nd-26th travel from London to Napoli and back to London, that Ryanair "kindly" suggested that I move forward but not beyond the 31st of August, is that I just ask for full refund.

I do not want to reschedule the flight because I already have a flight booked in August, and I absolutely do not need to go home twice just a few weeks apart.

Furthermore (let's say I wanted to reschedule), if I search, say, for the flights June 18th 7AM-23rd 9.45PM on Ryanair website, these flights cost together less than 100 GBP (which is less than I paid when I bought the flight in March, which has been overpriced when I had to pay to move it to May), whereas if I search for them from the Change Flights procedure, the very same flights add up to 193.98 GBP. For me this difference in price means that Ryanair is actually exploiting Covid-19 spread to spill money out of their customers. Is this legal?

However I haven't found a clear way to ask for refund in such a situation.

The Refund Application Form asks for

  • Reason for Refund Request to be chosen from three options, only one of which is marginally applicable: Flight delayed > 3 hours & will not travel. Technically this is true, as they are telling me to move my flight from the middle of May at least to June (and at most to the end of August).
  • Affected Flight Number, which is clearly not available yet.

Asking for a voucher equivalent to the amount of money I wasted up to now would be still good, even if not ideal.

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If the flights are cancelled, as the Commission recently reiterated, under article 8 of Regulation (EC) No 261/2004, you have the right to choose reimbursment, rerouting at the earliest opportunity or rerouting at the date of your choice. See this help page.

If the flights are not yet cancelled, then you can't yet claim under Article 8, although Ryanair is free to offer and you are free to ask.

On 10 March Ryanair said it has cancelled all flights to/from and within Italy that were scheduled to fly between 13 March and 8 April 2020, and:

All affected passengers have received email notices today informing them of these flight cancellations. Passengers looking for repatriation can obtain a free move to an earlier Ryanair flight operating up until midnight Fri 13 Mar. Affected passengers will be able to choose between a full refund or a travel credit that can be redeemed on Ryanair flights in the next 12 months.

It seems you will have to wait and see if your flights are cancelled if you want to exercise your Article 8 right to a refund.

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  • However, the EU commissioner did NOT give any advice on what to do if the airline still refuses refunds, which almost all European airlines do at the moment. As usual, talk is cheap and there is no action to help passengers. – Hilmar Apr 13 '20 at 12:46
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    @Hilmar I think we have to manage our expectations in the circumstances. – Lag Apr 13 '20 at 13:29
  • My expectation would be that despite the crisis the airlines would still follow existing laws and not illegally withhold money for services not rendered. Many business are suffering from the crisis. Why should the airlines get a license steal just because they can ? – Hilmar Apr 14 '20 at 13:16
  • @Hilmar Which airlines are illegally withholding money? So far as I'm aware, airlines are offering refunds for cancelled flights - as they are obliged. They're not obliged to offer refunds for flights that haven't yet been cancelled. Putting aside customers' demands for refunds whether or not flights have been cancelled, it seems to me the crux of this problem is when an airline will or should cancel a flight (in which case it is obliged to offer a refund). They're not going to refund unless they are obliged or believe it's in their best interest. – Lag Apr 14 '20 at 13:25
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    Air France is currently withholding refund from us. We have initiated charge back through the credit card. Some more examples: viewfromthewing.com/two-more-airlines-breaking-the-law-by-refusing-to-refund-customers-for-cancelled-flights/ .British Airways actively removed the refund option from their web site. This being said, things are constantly in flux, so the state today might be different from the state yesterday – Hilmar Apr 16 '20 at 15:14
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Ryanair will send you an email once your flight is canceled. My flight for 6th of May was cancelled yesterday, so you might have to wait couple more days.

They will give you two options:

  1. Apply for a refund
    • Refunds will be processed within 20 working days back to the form of payment used for the original booking.
  2. Change your cancelled flight (for free)
    • You have the right to re-routing to your final destination, under comparable transport conditions, either at the earliest opportunity or at a later date at your convenience subject to seats being available.
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