The airline has dismissed the survey, carried out by a British magazine, as ‘fake news’
RYANAIR has dismissed as “fake news” a survey that rated it and Virgin Atlantic the worst airlines for customer service by people who tried to get a refund after their flight was cancelled.
The two airlines scored “abysmally low” in a survey conducted by British consumer magazine Which? Travel.
Eight out of 10 customers said they were dissatisfied with the refund service they received after their flight was cancelled last year.
Ryanair was persistently criticised last year in this country for delays in paying refunds and giving people vouchers when they specifically requested their money back.
This was after their flights were cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Huge numbers of flights were cancelled last year due to the virus crisis, leaving people fighting for refunds which they are entitled to receive within seven days of cancellation.
A European Union directive means the refunds should be paid within a week. However, this does not apply where travellers decide not to fly.
Last November, Ryanair confirmed that people in Ireland who booked tickets through travel agents, or so-called screenscraper websites, were being given refunds by cheques drawn on a German bank.
While the cheques will be honoured by Irish banks, consumers could incur significant costs lodging them to their accounts.
The UK survey found that a third of respondents who had a flight cancelled by Ryanair or Virgin Atlantic waited more than three months for their refund.
None of the Ryanair passengers surveyed received their refund within the legal time frame.
The survey found that a quarter of Ryanair passengers were left frustrated by its initial policy of automatically issuing credit notes rather than cash refunds.
Asked to comment on the Which? Travel survey, Ryanair said: “This is just fake news (and more fake surveys) from Which?, who repeatedly make false claims about Ryanair.”
The Commission for Aviation Regulation, which has a mandate to protect airline consumers, said it cannot comment on specific airlines, when asked about the survey that rated Ryanair poorly on paying refunds.
The commission reminded people that if a passenger does not receive a satisfactory response from the airline, or no response, within six weeks of making their complaint, they can escalate the matter to the Commission for Aviation Regulation on www.flightrights.ie – this covers flights that were meant to depart from Ireland.
The aviation regulator has repeatedly said that anyone whose flight was cancelled as a result of Covid-19 is entitled to a refund.
It said customers could accept a voucher when offered, but they are within their rights to opt for a refund.