A dad who booked a holiday to an amber list destination with Ryanair for his daughter last July has been left fuming after the airline refused to issue a refund.
The airline told financial services worker Michael Griffin, 45, from Edinburgh, that it is ‘not their concern’ if his daughter flies against travel guidance, or loses out on hundreds of pounds.
Mr Griffin’s daughter Natasha, 17, has a holiday to Mallorca booked with her friends for June this year.
‘We are so angry’
The 45-year-old has contacted Ryanair several times to ask for a refund or voucher for the flight to the Spanish Island, which is on the amber list under the latest UK traffic light system.
Mr Griffin said he was shocked when Ryanair refused a refund but responded that Natasha could opt to fly against government guidance or book somewhere else to travel by the 1st of October – with no refund for the difference if the changed ticket is cheaper.
It comes days after Spain officially lifted restrictions for UK travellers. However, sunseekers have been urged to avoid travelling to countries on the Government’s “amber list” for holidays and non-essential travel despite the ban on international travel being lifted.
Mr Griffin said the group of Natasha’s friends who she planned to go on holiday with have had full refunds from another airline operator.
He claims a Ryanair customer services manager told him ‘it wasn’t their concern’ if Natasha boarded a flight to a country off-limits to holiday makers under current government guidance.
He said: “When I booked the Mallorca holiday for my daughter it was something for her and friends to look forward to at the end of the school year. But now I’ve asked for a refund or to have a voucher in my name instead they said they would charge me another £150 for that.
Customers are being penalised for trying to keep our kids safe and follow national travel guidance. We are so angry about how they have treated us.”
"Ryanair said they are acting within legal bounds of their contract but that doesn’t make it right or fair. They have a duty of care to customers.”
“I think it is disgraceful that their policy is in total contradiction to both the strong government advice and the advice of the FCDO. If the government is asking UK citizens to follow their advice and not to travel to Amber countries, then Ryanair should respect that and offer customers full refund if requested. We are all being asked to make sacrifices and support each other for the greater good so what makes an airline above this.”
‘Do the right thing’
Edinburgh West MP Christine Jardine has criticised the policy and urged Ryanair to “do the right thing”.
Edinburgh West MP Christine Jardine said: “I am aware that the aviation industry has been hit very hard by the pandemic, however unreasonable refund policies are not the best way to go about this.
“When things get back to normal, customers are likely to base future spending decisions based on how well companies have treated them during these difficult times.
“Ryanair must do the right thing and provide Mr Griffin with either the refund he requested or offer a voucher for the whole cost of the flight.”
Ryanair have been contacted for comment.
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