February 26, 2021

COVID-19: Ryanair and Virgin Atlantic rated worst in refunds survey

January 12, 2021

Ryanair and Virgin Atlantic have been rated as the worst of six major airlines for providing passenger refunds in a survey by Which?.

The consumer group said that both were given a customer satisfaction score of 13% when respondents were asked to rate customer service when applying for a refund.

In a year which saw millions of flights cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, Which? replaced its annual airlines survey with a poll charting consumers' experiences of asking for their money back from six major carriers operating in the UK.

It found 26% of Ryanair passengers were satisfied with their refund offer while only 16% of Virgin Atlantic passengers said the same.

Just under a third of customers who had a flight cancelled by the two airlines told Which? they waited more than three months for the refund.

Jet 2 did best in the survey with a satisfaction score of 76%, with TUI, British Airways and easyJet coming next on the list.

Rory Boland, editor of Which? Travel, said: "These findings will come as no surprise to the millions of people left chasing their airline for their money back after suffering a flight cancellation last year."

The consumer group surveyed 1,797 people who had a flight cancelled after 16 March.

Ryanair told Which? that all customers who had requested a refund had received one and there was no backlog.

Virgin Atlantic, which secured a rescue deal to secure its future during the pandemic, said a backlog of refunds was completed in November and apologised.

It had processed about £550m of cash refunds since March, totalling 245,000 claims.

A spokesperson for the airline responded: "Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic our absolute focus has been on supporting all of our customers, whether that's to amend, rebook or cancel plans.

"This survey by Which? was conducted in September 2020 and offers an out of date portrayal of customer sentiment."

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