The situation with travel refunds isn’t improving, so we’re now reporting companies that are openly breaking the law to the Civil Aviation Authority. Share your story.
We’ve heard from you on Which? Conversation how difficult it has been to get a refund for your cancelled flights.
Now, new research from a Which? Travel survey of more than 2,800 customers has shown more of the scope of the problem, with Ryanair proving to be the worst of the UK’s four major airlines at providing a refund.
Here's the truth about Ryanair refunds:
84% of customers we surveyed haven't received their money back.
— Which? Travel (@WhichTravel) May 28, 2020
Ryanair, like other EU and UK airlines, is legally required to issue refunds within seven days of cancellation. Of the Ryanair customers surveyed by Which?, just 5% reported receiving their money back in this time, with 84% still waiting to receive anything.
Are you a passenger still waiting on a refund? Share your story with us, and we’ll take it to the Civil Aviation Authority.
22/05/2020 Taking your stories to the CAA
Despite publishing our ten-point plan almost a month ago, we have yet to see the government take any significant action to ensure that people get their refunds back for cancelled flights and holidays.
Instead, passengers continue to face an uphill battle as some airlines suggest they will have to wait up to a year to get back the money that they are owed.
Our research has already called out companies that are breaking the law by failing to refund customers and we’ve raised concerns that industry behaviour risks permanent damage to the sector.
Record low trust
In fact, our latest Consumer Insight Tracker shows that trust in airlines and holiday companies is at an all-time low – with overall trust dropping from a net score of nine in February 2020 to -12 in May 2020.
This drop of 21 points is the lowest score ever recorded in the seven years Which? has collected the data.
Permanent damage to trust in the travel industry is being risked.
The regulator must come down strongly on airlines found to be systemically denying or delaying refunds.
Join us in asking the government to urgently set out how it will support the industry.#RefundPassengers
— Which? Travel (@WhichTravel) May 20, 2020
Seven in 10 people surveyed by Which? who had booked a holiday or flight prior to the lockdown had some or all of their plans cancelled, with the majority (58%) still waiting for their money to be returned to them.
Of those waiting for their money back for a cancelled trip, nearly half (47%) have been left more than £500 out of pocket, and nearly three in 10 (27%) are owed more than £1,000.
This is only going to get worse as we approach the summer holidays and more and more people inevitably have their flights or holidays cancelled. It’s time for the government to intervene to support the industry and make sure that trust in travel is not permanently damaged.
Sharing your stories with the CAA
There is a clear need for the government to make sure that airlines and travel companies refund their customers, especially as many people may find themselves in financial difficulty of their own.
That’s why our ten-point plan has called for the government and the regulator to urgently introduce measures, including a Travel Guarantee Fund, to support the industry to fulfil its legal obligations to its customers.
The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has recently announced it will be reviewing airlines’ handling of refunds during this crisis and the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is investigating cancellations and refunds for UK holiday accommodation.
We’re now compiling your stories of airlines letting passengers down to take to the regulator.
Is your airline openly breaking the law? Submit your story, and let us know about your experience in the comments.