Ryanair say the refunds received via credit card chargebacks are “unlawful”.
Ryanair has been accused of banning passengers who pursued chargebacks against the airline during the pandemic.
At the height of the Covid-19 outbreak, international travel came to an almost complete standstill due to travel restrictions, but many airlines – like Ryanair – refused to cancel their flights.
Because the airline was refusing to refund these flights, many passengers who were unable to travel contacted their banks, who in turn issued ‘chargeback refunds’.
Now the airline is getting back at them.
According to reports, many people who recently tried to book trips through the budget airline were told they weren’t allowed to until they paid off their ‘debt’.
Some passengers have said Ryanair allowed them to purchase tickets, before giving the pay your debt ultimatum just hours before they were due to fly.
Speaking to Newstalk Breakfast, travel expert Eoghan Corry said the rules around the measure are “foggy”.
“Ryanair would dispute that some of the money paid back by credit card companies, their customers – in their view – were not entitled to it,” he said.
“They have a long memory, so when that customer comes to book again, they say: ‘OK, we want that money back before we allow you to fly’.”
Guy Anker, deputy editor of MoneySavingExpert , said: “This is absolutely outrageous behaviour from Ryanair. It essentially had these passengers over a barrel shortly before their holiday at a point which turned excitement into stress and anxiety. To let them book a holiday and only tell them this news at the last minute shows no regard for fellow human beings.”
Ryanair has defended its stance, claiming it has always been a “no-refunds airline.”
A Ryanair spokesperson said: “non-refundable tickets on Ryanair flights which operated as scheduled during Covid-19 but who chose not to travel and then unlawfully processed chargebacks via their credit card company.”
“These few passengers will be required to settle their outstanding debt before they will be allowed to fly with Ryanair again.”