Coronavirus: Ryanair, easyJet and BA are among airlines refusing cash refunds

Airlines are refusing to give cash refunds to passengers despite the Foreign Office travel ban amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Thousands of travellers are desperate to cancel their upcoming holidays following the Government’s warning against all but essential travel to anywhere in the world.

However, an investigation by consumer champions Which? found that carriers including British Airways, Ryanair and easyJet are refusing to let them cancel and claim a refund on flights which are still scheduled to run.

British Airways planes parked up at London City Airport today as the UK lockdown continues

British Airways planes parked up at London City Airport today as the UK lockdown continues

British Airways planes parked up at London City Airport today as the UK lockdown continues

This is despite the fact any travel would be against government advice and invalidate travel insurance. Some flights are even running to countries which have banned UK residents.

In normal circumstances, airlines are only legally obliged to offer a cash refund if they cancel a flight.

Instead, passengers who no longer want to travel are being told to rebook or accept a voucher for the face value of the flight.

Many are reluctant to accept these offers as they are unable to predict when the pandemic will end, and whether their airlines will survive the crisis.

Grounded easyJet aircraft are parked up at London Luton Airport due to the virus, on Tuesday

Grounded easyJet aircraft are parked up at London Luton Airport due to the virus, on Tuesday

Grounded easyJet aircraft are parked up at London Luton Airport due to the virus, on Tuesday

A Ryanair jet is seen on the Tarmac at Dublin Airport next to an Aer Lingus plane on Monday

A Ryanair jet is seen on the Tarmac at Dublin Airport next to an Aer Lingus plane on Monday

A Ryanair jet is seen on the Tarmac at Dublin Airport next to an Aer Lingus plane on Monday

This has left many passengers hundreds of pounds out of pocket as they face no choice but to cancel and attempt to recoup their losses through their travel insurance.

** Have you been denied a flight refund? Please email: mark.duell@mailonline.co.uk or tips@dailymail.com ** 

Which? cited an example of a BA passenger called Lynette who lost £550 when she cancelled her flight to Thailand following the Foreign Office travel ban.

Ryanair and EasyJet are also refusing to offer cash refunds for flights that do operator.

Worse, some Ryanair passengers who tried to rebook their flights found that the ‘change fares’ are more expensive than a new ticket on the same flight.

Nine passenger planes of the Hungarian airline WizzAir parked at Debrecen Airport on Sunday

Nine passenger planes of the Hungarian airline WizzAir parked at Debrecen Airport on Sunday

Nine passenger planes of the Hungarian airline WizzAir parked at Debrecen Airport on Sunday

Scores of passengers have also been unable to make the refund system work.

Last week, some Ryanair passengers were told their flight was back on after previously being told it was cancelled. 

Some were left with as little as two hours’ notice to get to a refund and were unable to claim a refund when they didn’t make the flight.

In the worst example found by Which?, Hungarian airline Wizz Air is still charging €30-€40 (£27-£37) per passenger, per flight, to rebook – or €60 (£55) to cancel. These fees apply even to countries that have closed their borders.

Rory Boland, Editor of Which? Travel, said: ‘Despite travel restrictions being in place around the globe, passengers who booked flights before this outbreak began that have not yet been cancelled are now left trapped between a rock and a hard place – unable to fly while also being denied a refund.

‘We would urge anyone with a flight that is still scheduled to depart to rebook before the departure date, on the chance that the new flight will be cancelled.

‘To allow this, any airlines that have not already done so must urgently waive their flight change fee to ensure passengers who have no choice but to rebook are not penalised for doing so.’

The Daily Mail has contacted British Airways, easyJet and Ryanair for comment today. 

** Have you been denied a flight refund? Please email: mark.duell@mailonline.co.uk or tips@dailymail.com ** 

Woman is told to arrive at Luton Airport in plenty of time for Wizz Air flight to Hungary – despite Britons being unable to enter the country

WizzAir is still running flights from London to Budapest and Sofia, despite British citizens being currently unable to enter Hungary or Bulgaria.

Hannah Walsh was due to fly to Budapest with Wizz Air on Tuesday, and had expected receive notice that her flight had been cancelled.

But instead she was shocked to receive an email about her upcoming flight, encouraging her to arrive at London Luton Airport in plenty of time.

Hannah Walsh received an email from Wizz Air about her upcoming flight to Budapest, encouraging her to arrive at London Luton Airport in plenty of time

Hannah Walsh received an email from Wizz Air about her upcoming flight to Budapest, encouraging her to arrive at London Luton Airport in plenty of time

Hannah Walsh received an email from Wizz Air about her upcoming flight to Budapest, encouraging her to arrive at London Luton Airport in plenty of time

Wizz Air said it was ‘expecting a very high number of passengers’.

But Ms Walsh is not a Hungarian citizen so would potentially have been stranded at the airport had she flown.

She had spent £62 in total for two passengers, and had to choose between paying Wizz Air’s flight cancellation or rebooking fees, or miss her flight.  

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