Ryanair to ground all flights from next week – can you get a refund?
The drastic action from the Irish budget airline is a response to the rapid global spread of coronavirus, also known as COVID-19.
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The coronavirus outbreak has caused travel chaos for British holidaymakers, with the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) now advising against all but essential international travel.
Due to the latest advice, Ryanair says it's cutting flight schedules by 80 per cent from today, March 18.
It hasn't revealed a list of flights so you'll need to check your online booking to see if your trip is affected.
Then from Tuesday next week, March 24, the airline says most, if not all, Ryanair flights will be grounded.
The only exception will be a "very small" number of flights, mostly between the UK and Ireland, Ryanair said.
The airline hasn't said when it expects its schedule to return to normal.
How do I get a refund from Ryanair?
If your flight has been cancelled, Ryanair should offer you a refund or the option of rescheduling your flight to a later date.
Ryanair says it will be contacting affected passengers by email or text message.
But if you think your flight has been cancelled and you've yet to hear from Ryanair, you can contact the airline on 0818 30 30 or through its online chat service.
You'll need to have your booking number to hand so Ryanair can track down your trip.
What happens if Ryanair doesn't refund me?
If you're struggling to get your money back from Ryanair, you may be covered by your travel insurance.
You'll need to read the terms and conditions of your policy carefully to check what it says in terms of cancellations.
The best thing to do is contact your policy provider to discuss your options.
If you don't have travel insurance, you may 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.
Those with flights and hotels booked by debit card may be able to claim a refund via their banks 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.
Can I get a refund for my accommodation and other parts of the holiday?
Ryanair is only responsible for refunding the flights it has cancelled.
To get the money back on other elements of the holiday, you'll need to contact the providers first and ask for a refund.
If you can't get reimbursed by your hotel, car hire provider, or for other elements of your trip, you may be able to claim through your travel insurance.
Ryanair isn't the only airline to cancel flights due to coronavirus – TUI has scrapped the majority of its hotel stays, package holidays and cruises.
Plus, easyJet has grounded hundreds of flights as COVID-19 continues to spread across the globe.
Martin Lewis has urged holidaymakers to check travel insurance and hotel policies to see if you cancel due to the virus outbreak.
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