RYANAIR HAS has been rated the worst short haul airline to handle refunds during the coronavirus pandemic.
The Dublin-based carrier has a money-back satisfaction score of just 47% in a survey by consumer group Which?
More than one in five participants who booked a Ryanair flight that was canceled or were unable to board due to the virus crisis said it took more than a month for a refund.
One customer said, “Ryanair is the most difficult airline to ever deal with. He seems proud of being tough.”
British Airways ranked second out of five airlines in terms of satisfaction with refunds, at 63%.
Some passengers who telephoned the company reported spending hours waiting only to be suspended, while others were continuously moved between different departments.
The vast majority of flights were canceled in the wake of the pandemic starting in the spring of 2020 as travel demand collapsed.
Under consumer law, affected passengers are entitled to a refund within 14 days, but many airlines are overwhelmed with requests.
Millions of passengers also struggled to get refunds for past flights, but were unable to use them due to the coronavirus shutdown.
Jet2.com was rated as the best short term refund carrier, with 84% of respondents expressing satisfaction with how their claims were handled.
One passenger said: “The pandemic has seen the brilliance of Jet2. Its level of customer service exceeds that of any other low-cost airline.”
In October 2021, which one? It surveyed 1,124 online research panel members who have experienced a disrupted flight since March 2020.
Of those who completed the refund request process, 77 booked travel with Ryanair and 325 were British Airways customers.
Which? Travel editor Rory Boland said: “Ryanair’s consistently horrible customer service has made it among the worst performers in our surveys for many years – but the airline has fallen to new depths with its treatment of Covid refunds.
« British Airways’ reputation also deserves a hit when it took a tough stance on refunds to travelers who were unable to travel because they followed government health guidelines.
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Many passengers will not forget how companies have handled them during the pandemic.
« Covid can still cause disruption to international travel, so we advise travelers to book with airlines that have flexible booking policies and a history of treating their customers fairly. »
British Airways said in a statement: « We are proud to have been the first British airline to offer customers the flexibility to adjust their plans at the start of the pandemic, by offering vouchers they can use until September 2023.
“If we cancel a flight, we always reach out to customers to offer a range of options including a full refund. We have issued over 4.2 million refunds and have handled over 3.3 million voucher requests to date.
“However, we know we can do a better job and are working hard behind the scenes, upgrading our phone systems and recruiting more people to deliver a better, faster customer experience that we know our customers deserve.
« We never take our customers’ loyalty for granted and appreciate their patience as our teams work around the clock to support them. »
Ryanair did not respond to a request for comment on the search.
« Spécialiste de la télévision sans vergogne. Pionnier des zombies inconditionnels. Résolveur de problèmes d’une humilité exaspérante. »