How to get a refund from Ryanair as it extends free rebooking policy
RYANAIR has extended its free rebooking policy to help Brits keen to travel later this year, so how can you get to a refund if things go wrong?
Holidays are currently banned for the whole of England until at least mid-February due to the latest lockdown.
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If you do need to travel internationally, you can only do so with a legally permitted reason, like for work.
Meanwhile, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps earlier this month urged people to think twice about booking their holidays abroad this summer.
The warning came after holiday firms reported a bounce in reservations as the vaccine is rolled out across the country.
However, for Brits still keen to travel, Ryanair has extended the free flight change policy for customers who book before March 31, 2021.
What are the new lockdown rules for travel?
AS of January 5 2021, only essential travel is allowed with Brits urged not to leave their house unless for reasons including food, medical care or work.
The government advice states: "You can only travel internationally – or within the UK – where you first have a legally permitted reason to leave home.
"In addition, you should consider the public health advice in the country you are visiting.
"UK residents currently abroad do not need to return home immediately. However, you should check with your airline or travel operator on arrangements for returning.
"Foreign nationals are subject to the ‘Stay at Home’ regulations. You should not travel abroad unless it is permitted. This means you must not go on holiday."
It's also allowing up to two booking date moves until October 31, 2021.
The Sun has asked Ryanair when the policy was set to end, and we'll update this article once we hear back.
Below we explain how to get a refund from Ryanair, whether it's cancelled your flight or you no longer want to go.
My flight's been cancelled, how can I get a refund?
If an airline has cancelled your flights then you are entitled to a full refund.
Before January 1 2021, customers could claim a refund under the European Union's Denied Boarding Regulation.
This covers flights booked with a European airline or ones that have departed from, or landed in, an airport in the EU.
Passengers travelling from the UK are still covered under the same consumer rights now that it has left the EU.
Airlines have seven days from when they cancelled your flight to refund the money.
In some cases, you're legally entitled to compensation if the flight has been cancelled fewer than 14 days before departure.
But because the pandemic is considered to be an "extraordinary circumstance", airlines don't have to pay more than the cost of your flight.
Ryanair automatically issues vouchers for cancelled flights, but you can apply for a cash refund on its website.
Why is Ryanair offering a voucher?
Many airlines are offering customers credit notes or vouchers instead of a refund if it cancel flights, which you can use to book a holiday at a later date.
Ryanair offers vouchers equal to the cost of the cancelled flights, and these are valid for 12 months.
They can be used to book new flights in the future, or you can use them to pay for extras, such as bags or priority boarding.
If you'd prefer the money back, you don't have to accept a credit note and can request a cash refund instead on Ryanair's website.
I no longer want to travel, can I get my money back?
Unfortunately, airlines don't have to pay out if the flight is still able to go ahead even if you don't want to travel.
In fact, Ryanair says customers can't get a refund if the flight is operational and isn't delayed by more than two hours.
Instead, you may want to consider changing your flight to a later date by using Ryanair's free rebooking policy.
The flight change fee has been dropped for all new bookings made after June 10, 2020 but before March 31, 2021, for travel before October 31.
Just keep in mind you must change your flights at least seven days before the original scheduled departure date to avoid rebooking fees.
If you do, remember you must also pay the fare difference if your new ticket is more expensive.
What if I've booked with a third-party provider?
Different rules also apply if you've booked a Ryanair flight with a third-party provider, such as On the Beach, Love Holidays or Teletext Holidays.
If your flight has been cancelled, you can complete the "Customer Verification Form" on the Ryanair website for a direct refund.
You'll need to supply a copy of your ID and signature, proof of address and the original booking confirmation.
If you've had confirmation from Ryanair that your booking has already been refunded to the provider, you must contact them directly to get your money back.
What other options do I have?
If you're struggling to get a refund from Ryanair or a third-party provider, you may also be able to claim your money back through your credit or debit card provider.
Credit card payments between £100 and £30,000 are covered under Section 75 of the Consumer Rights Act.
To start a claim, you need to contact your credit card provider directly – Which? has a free tool that can help you do this.
If you booked by debit card, you may be able to claim a refund via your bank using the Chargeback scheme.
Chargeback can be used to reclaim cash for goods and services you didn't receive.
Claims apply for purchases made by debit card, or by credit card for purchases under £100, and must be done within 120 days of the transaction.
To start a chargeback claim, you need to contact your card provider but as it isn’t written into law there is no guarantee you’ll get your money back.
If you have travel insurance, it may be worth speaking to your provider but they're less likely to refund you as it should be the airline's responsibility.
Check the terms and conditions of your policy to see what it says regarding cancellations.
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