Notorious for trying to squeeze profits out of every aspect of flying, low-budget carrier Ryanair said it won't give refunds to customers from the United Kingdom who bought tickets for Cyprus, which is refusing to admit them over COVID-19 fears.
Unlike Greece's Aegean Airlines which, in violation of European Union law, refused to give refunds to those whose flights were canceled over COVID-19 flight restrictions and offered vouchers without an additional cost, Ryanair said its customers can rebook for a later flight – but will have to pay the cost of making the change, the British newspaper The Independent said.
The Foreign Office advice reads: “You cannot enter Cyprus if you have been in the UK in the last 14 days. You can only enter Cyprus if you can show proof that you are a legal resident of Cyprus or a Cypriot ID holder and a negative PCR test result (taken in the previous 72 hours).”
The airline said since the flights aren't canceled that passengers aren't entitled to get their money back even if they can't go to Cyprus, infuriating some but the airline still making big money despite repeated customer dissatisfaction.
Sarah Hutchinson, who had booked flights from Liverpool to Cyprus back in January before COVID-19 hit the UK hard, was due to go to Cyprus now but can't and won't get her money back and she's not happy.
“It took me five days to get through to Ryanair, then the woman just told me that they weren’t offering refunds because the flights were going, but how could I get on the flight when I wouldn’t have been allowed into Cyprus?”
She said she paid more than 1,300 British Pounds ($1,633.61) for her family's flights before the airline stiffed her while Nicola Loizidou, who had booked flights from Liverpool to Paphos departing July 8, was told she would have to pay a “change fee” of 270 pounds ($339.29) for May 2021 although the flight is 75 pounds ($94.25) less.
“Ryanair said it wasn’t their problem if I couldn’t get in to Cyprus, they were just a carrier flying me from A to B, and they refused a refund for the higher fare or any credit against the change fee,” she said.
Airlines aren’t obliged to refund passengers if Foreign Office advice or border restrictions stop them from traveling if the flight still goes on and Ryanair has shown it does not care what customers think although other carriers, such as easyJet said it wil let passengers rebook without fees, as does Aegean in its policy.