My flight with Ryanair was cancelled due to Covid-19.
They sent an email about a month ago, offering me to change my booking for free or to apply for a refund. I applied for a refund. The form used mentioned a 20 day processing time + 7 days for the actual payout. So this puts the payout somewhat today.

However, today I received another email from them, simply offering a voucher and the invite to book a flight within a year. The email says the voucher will be valid for a year, nothing about refunding the money after that time period which seems to be the case currently with most other airlines.
They also mention that I could still get the refund, however only after the consequences of the pandemic are under control, whenever that would be. They provide a link, which is the same link you would get when accepting their voucher and you have to scroll down to the last section and only there they talk about refunds. They say that I should contact them if I still want the refund. However, no means of contacting them is provided. They can't seriously expect to write an email since their customer support is totally unresponsive. What should I do? It seems like they are not really offering refunds any more, which would be against the law.

The question asked here and here only seem losely related.

  • 1
    If an email address or form is available, do write an email in any case. No matter the issue, having made an attempt could carry some weight somewhere down the line. As a rule, this is always better than assuming anything.
    – Relaxed
    Commented Apr 21, 2020 at 16:16

3 Answers 3


They're breaking the law, because they're under financial stress. They don't really have enough working cash to give everyone refunds. In fact, they are arranging their busienss affairs to make the most out of a bankruptcy if they are forced to declare it.

So they are out to do anything but refund you.

  • Rebook you at a later time
  • Give you a "voucher" for a future flight TBD
  • Promise, delay, obfuscate

Now, some countries have an enhanced refund right for air travel, in which if the airline isn't responsible, the credit card issuer is, and of course the issuer is cutthroat about recovering from the airline. So the airline doesn't want that.

Their best option is to con you into taking a voucher. That denies you your refund rights via the card, since you did complete the transaction: They charged your card, and you got the voucher. If you go back to the card for a reversal now, the card accurately says "They delivered the product. The voucher."

Bankruptcy is looming on the horizon for many airlines. And this creates a perverse "run on the banks" effect among travelers owed refunds. If everyone accepted delays, the airlines would probably weather through. But that isn't happening, so the airlines are giving refunds to people who are the pushiest, and many others will lose if the bankruptcy lands. It's like two people running from the bear: as spectators we hope they will both outrun the bear. But from a runner's perspective, well, I'm sure you've heard the dark humor there.


Per Article 8 of the EC261 directive, they must refund you if requested.

So in your e-mail, press "reply" and message [email protected] and [email protected]. Clearly say you decline a voucher and want a full refund, and that they are to respond within 7 working days.

If they refuse, that's illegal and you should report it to the national enforcement body in the country of departure.

Alternatively, you can request a chargeback with your card provider, but need to prove that you've tried to a reasonable extent to solve it with Ryanair.

  • Just tried it and got an auto-response with a choice of web forms, including the one (or very similar to) that was used to make the initial request for a refund. I'd say the email went nowhere...
    – 8192K
    Commented Apr 21, 2020 at 16:00
  • @Sebastian Nope, messages to [email protected] will get to a human despite the auto-reply, so just wait
    – Crazydre
    Commented Apr 21, 2020 at 16:01
  • OK! I also responded to the email address they sent the email from ([email protected]) and I got a "quota exceeded" :-D :-D. Incredible.
    – 8192K
    Commented Apr 21, 2020 at 16:05
  • 2
    @Sebastian That's an unmonitored address, and so irrelevant
    – Crazydre
    Commented Apr 21, 2020 at 16:05
  • 1
    @Hilmar Chargeback is also an option for sure (added it to the answer)
    – Crazydre
    Commented Apr 21, 2020 at 19:01

Not sure whether for you was the same, but to me they offered a voucher that if not used in one year will be given back to me in cash money. Honestly I find this a better solution than other airlines and I would take. It is a difficult time for everyone, refunding everyone would means they go bankrupts, which means nobody get anything, not even a voucher... think about it :)

Best regards, IM

  • 4
    If Ryanair fails, then you have lost your money. Commented May 14, 2020 at 11:24

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