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readytotaxi
Topic Author
Posts: 8183
Joined: Mon Dec 11, 2006 2:09 am

UK. Refund probe into Ryanair and BA dropped

Thu Oct 07, 2021 10:30 am

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has closed an investigation into the two airlines, saying there is a "lack of [legal] clarity".
Instead of offering refunds, the carriers offered vouchers or rebooking.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-58826484

Both airlines lost a lot of goodwill over this.
 
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BA744PHX
Posts: 563
Joined: Mon Sep 24, 2007 3:42 am

Re: UK. Refund probe into Ryanair and BA dropped

Thu Oct 07, 2021 12:17 pm

readytotaxi wrote:
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has closed an investigation into the two airlines, saying there is a "lack of [legal] clarity".
Instead of offering refunds, the carriers offered vouchers or rebooking.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-58826484

Both airlines lost a lot of goodwill over this.

Good will?? I don’t know if I’m the only one who preferred vouchers over refunds. If your intent is to fly again which is majority of people I don’t see the issues with getting vouchers.

I’ve been sitting on many vouchers with United and only recently started using them.
 
solletur
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Oct 15, 2018 7:32 pm

Re: UK. Refund probe into Ryanair and BA dropped

Thu Oct 07, 2021 1:04 pm

BA744PHX wrote:
readytotaxi wrote:
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has closed an investigation into the two airlines, saying there is a "lack of [legal] clarity".
Instead of offering refunds, the carriers offered vouchers or rebooking.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-58826484

Both airlines lost a lot of goodwill over this.

Good will?? I don’t know if I’m the only one who preferred vouchers over refunds. If your intent is to fly again which is majority of people I don’t see the issues with getting vouchers.

I’ve been sitting on many vouchers with United and only recently started using them.



Yes but in the real world people want the money back; family holidays etc.... a bunch of vouchers with no certainty are completely useless to them
 
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par13del
Posts: 10993
Joined: Sun Dec 18, 2005 9:14 pm

Re: UK. Refund probe into Ryanair and BA dropped

Thu Oct 07, 2021 1:22 pm

So did someone tell the politicians to make sure the laws they pass are clear or was it truly political to make the people believe they were doing something?
It is beyond ironic that the regulator is dropping a case because the law that the regulator put in place is not clear for the regulator to use...can't make this up...
 
LS83
Posts: 23
Joined: Thu Oct 10, 2019 8:39 pm

Re: UK. Refund probe into Ryanair and BA dropped

Thu Oct 07, 2021 1:28 pm

solletur wrote:
BA744PHX wrote:
readytotaxi wrote:
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has closed an investigation into the two airlines, saying there is a "lack of [legal] clarity".
Instead of offering refunds, the carriers offered vouchers or rebooking.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-58826484

Both airlines lost a lot of goodwill over this.

Good will?? I don’t know if I’m the only one who preferred vouchers over refunds. If your intent is to fly again which is majority of people I don’t see the issues with getting vouchers.

I’ve been sitting on many vouchers with United and only recently started using them.


Same with me in Europe with Ryanair, BA & EasyJet, I much prefer vouchers!


Yes but in the real world people want the money back; family holidays etc.... a bunch of vouchers with no certainty are completely useless to them


The real world??!! Each to their own, but vouchers seem to be more popular than a refund. Their very flexible with most airlines, most of mine are valid until at least June/July 2022. With restrictions easing all over Europe now, so I’m sure they can be used with more certainty now…
 
DH106
Posts: 679
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2005 5:32 pm

Re: UK. Refund probe into Ryanair and BA dropped

Thu Oct 07, 2021 1:50 pm

Yes, but it would be nice to HAVE THE CHOICE !
 
TYCOON
Posts: 510
Joined: Sun Feb 18, 2007 8:20 pm

Re: UK. Refund probe into Ryanair and BA dropped

Thu Oct 07, 2021 2:13 pm

For an initial period during the first part of the lockdown, as an incentive to opt for a voucher instead of cash refund, Air France was offering a 10% bonus over face value of the ticket via a voucher. I would always opt for a voucher+10% since I couldn't get a 10% return if I took the cash and invested it for 12 months!
 
seansasLCY
Posts: 1321
Joined: Mon Mar 19, 2007 5:25 am

Re: UK. Refund probe into Ryanair and BA dropped

Thu Oct 07, 2021 2:58 pm

LS83 wrote:
solletur wrote:
BA744PHX wrote:
Good will?? I don’t know if I’m the only one who preferred vouchers over refunds. If your intent is to fly again which is majority of people I don’t see the issues with getting vouchers.

I’ve been sitting on many vouchers with United and only recently started using them.


Same with me in Europe with Ryanair, BA & EasyJet, I much prefer vouchers!


Yes but in the real world people want the money back; family holidays etc.... a bunch of vouchers with no certainty are completely useless to them


The real world??!! Each to their own, but vouchers seem to be more popular than a refund. Their very flexible with most airlines, most of mine are valid until at least June/July 2022. With restrictions easing all over Europe now, so I’m sure they can be used with more certainty now…


In the instances where the carrier offers a bonus like Aer Lingus does I can understand but what is more flexible than cash? A BA voucher can only be used on BA on their terms - for some of these vouchers you also need to call BA to use them which can take hours on hold. A refund gives me the flexibility to buy a flight as I want. I can buy another BA ticket or go to SAS and buy with them as they now offer better times for my original journey.
 
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spinotter
Posts: 916
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Re: UK. Refund probe into Ryanair and BA dropped

Thu Oct 07, 2021 3:17 pm

par13del wrote:
So did someone tell the politicians to make sure the laws they pass are clear or was it truly political to make the people believe they were doing something?
It is beyond ironic that the regulator is dropping a case because the law that the regulator put in place is not clear for the regulator to use...can't make this up...


Does anyone have access to the language of the actual regulations? What could be so unclear about requiring cash refunds for canceled flights, etc.? Another example of regulators being hand in glove with the companies they are supposed to regulate!
 
Vicenza
Posts: 408
Joined: Sun Apr 19, 2020 3:21 pm

Re: UK. Refund probe into Ryanair and BA dropped

Thu Oct 07, 2021 3:56 pm

spinotter wrote:
par13del wrote:
So did someone tell the politicians to make sure the laws they pass are clear or was it truly political to make the people believe they were doing something?
It is beyond ironic that the regulator is dropping a case because the law that the regulator put in place is not clear for the regulator to use...can't make this up...


Does anyone have access to the language of the actual regulations? What could be so unclear about requiring cash refunds for canceled flights, etc.? Another example of regulators being hand in glove with the companies they are supposed to regulate!


Not so much hand in glove perhaps as an interesting aspect would be they couldn't penalise Ryanair, without also penalising BA.....and that would never do!
 
seansasLCY
Posts: 1321
Joined: Mon Mar 19, 2007 5:25 am

Re: UK. Refund probe into Ryanair and BA dropped

Thu Oct 07, 2021 3:56 pm

spinotter wrote:
par13del wrote:
So did someone tell the politicians to make sure the laws they pass are clear or was it truly political to make the people believe they were doing something?
It is beyond ironic that the regulator is dropping a case because the law that the regulator put in place is not clear for the regulator to use...can't make this up...


Does anyone have access to the language of the actual regulations? What could be so unclear about requiring cash refunds for canceled flights, etc.? Another example of regulators being hand in glove with the companies they are supposed to regulate!


The rules state that if a carrier cancels a flight they should offer a refund. This inquiry was about if the flight operates but Gov rules don’t allow you to travel (as was the case during some of the UK lockdowns where it was illegal to travel for leisure. The flight still operated so airlines don’t need to refund if you don’t take the flight. That’s where you should claim from your insurance.
 
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readytotaxi
Topic Author
Posts: 8183
Joined: Mon Dec 11, 2006 2:09 am

Re: UK. Refund probe into Ryanair and BA dropped

Thu Oct 07, 2021 4:06 pm

spinotter wrote:
par13del wrote:
So did someone tell the politicians to make sure the laws they pass are clear or was it truly political to make the people believe they were doing something?
It is beyond ironic that the regulator is dropping a case because the law that the regulator put in place is not clear for the regulator to use...can't make this up...


Does anyone have access to the language of the actual regulations? What could be so unclear about requiring cash refunds for canceled flights, etc.? Another example of regulators being hand in glove with the companies they are supposed to regulate!

Here you go.

https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/20 ... ts/enacted
 
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PatrickZ80
Posts: 4744
Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2010 5:33 am

Re: UK. Refund probe into Ryanair and BA dropped

Thu Oct 07, 2021 6:09 pm

LS83 wrote:
The real world??!! Each to their own, but vouchers seem to be more popular than a refund. Their very flexible with most airlines, most of mine are valid until at least June/July 2022. With restrictions easing all over Europe now, so I’m sure they can be used with more certainty now…


You got to be kidding.

Unless the voucher is topped up by a certain percentage of the paid ticket price, most people will always prefer a refund. Vouchers are only valid for so long and only for a certain airline, money is way more flexible. It can be used on any airline and it doesn't have an expiry date. That voucher has to come with some pretty good terms for people to go for it.

I remember here in the Netherlands airlines and travel agencies also gave out vouchers instead of refunds during the first travel restrictions. The Dutch law says this is allowed under special circumstances, which COVID-19 is. However customers have the right to deny the voucher and demand cash instead, which is to be refunded one year after the voucher is given out. After a year over 90% of all vouchers remained unused, people didn't intend to travel. They were just waiting for their money. The fact that so many vouchers expired and had to be paid out all at once caused liquidity problems for many travel agencies but there was no way for them to postpone the refunds any longer. After all under normal circumstances the refunds would have to be paid instantly, without customers having to wait for their voucher to expire.

The fact that 90% of all people didn't intend to use their voucher shows that you're wrong, vouchers are never more popular than refunds. If people want a refund they should be given that option.
 
marky
Posts: 184
Joined: Tue Nov 25, 2003 6:16 am

Re: UK. Refund probe into Ryanair and BA dropped

Thu Oct 07, 2021 6:18 pm

par13del wrote:
So did someone tell the politicians to make sure the laws they pass are clear or was it truly political to make the people believe they were doing something?
It is beyond ironic that the regulator is dropping a case because the law that the regulator put in place is not clear for the regulator to use...can't make this up...


Regulators don't make the law, Parliament does
 
SEU
Posts: 364
Joined: Wed Mar 13, 2019 7:21 pm

Re: UK. Refund probe into Ryanair and BA dropped

Thu Oct 07, 2021 6:37 pm

LS83 wrote:
solletur wrote:
BA744PHX wrote:
Good will?? I don’t know if I’m the only one who preferred vouchers over refunds. If your intent is to fly again which is majority of people I don’t see the issues with getting vouchers.

I’ve been sitting on many vouchers with United and only recently started using them.


Same with me in Europe with Ryanair, BA & EasyJet, I much prefer vouchers!


Yes but in the real world people want the money back; family holidays etc.... a bunch of vouchers with no certainty are completely useless to them


The real world??!! Each to their own, but vouchers seem to be more popular than a refund. Their very flexible with most airlines, most of mine are valid until at least June/July 2022. With restrictions easing all over Europe now, so I’m sure they can be used with more certainty now…



If you think its normal for most people to want a voucher instead of a refund, I have news for you....
 
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BA744PHX
Posts: 563
Joined: Mon Sep 24, 2007 3:42 am

Re: UK. Refund probe into Ryanair and BA dropped

Thu Oct 07, 2021 7:11 pm

SEU wrote:
LS83 wrote:
solletur wrote:

Same with me in Europe with Ryanair, BA & EasyJet, I much prefer vouchers!


Yes but in the real world people want the money back; family holidays etc.... a bunch of vouchers with no certainty are completely useless to them


The real world??!! Each to their own, but vouchers seem to be more popular than a refund. Their very flexible with most airlines, most of mine are valid until at least June/July 2022. With restrictions easing all over Europe now, so I’m sure they can be used with more certainty now…



If you think its normal for most people to want a voucher instead of a refund, I have news for you....

To each their own…
 
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scbriml
Posts: 20199
Joined: Wed Jul 02, 2003 10:37 pm

Re: UK. Refund probe into Ryanair and BA dropped

Thu Oct 07, 2021 7:16 pm

BA744PHX wrote:
readytotaxi wrote:
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has closed an investigation into the two airlines, saying there is a "lack of [legal] clarity".
Instead of offering refunds, the carriers offered vouchers or rebooking.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-58826484

Both airlines lost a lot of goodwill over this.

Good will?? I don’t know if I’m the only one who preferred vouchers over refunds. If your intent is to fly again which is majority of people I don’t see the issues with getting vouchers.

I’ve been sitting on many vouchers with United and only recently started using them.


In an uncertain situation, I believe the option of a refund is preferable for the vast majority of people.
 
WayexTDI
Posts: 2562
Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2018 4:38 pm

Re: UK. Refund probe into Ryanair and BA dropped

Thu Oct 07, 2021 10:16 pm

BA744PHX wrote:
SEU wrote:
LS83 wrote:

The real world??!! Each to their own, but vouchers seem to be more popular than a refund. Their very flexible with most airlines, most of mine are valid until at least June/July 2022. With restrictions easing all over Europe now, so I’m sure they can be used with more certainty now…



If you think its normal for most people to want a voucher instead of a refund, I have news for you....

To each their own…

Exactly. And the majority of the people prefer cash on hand than vouchers; to each their own.
 
oldJoe
Posts: 692
Joined: Fri Jan 10, 2020 11:04 pm

Re: UK. Refund probe into Ryanair and BA dropped

Fri Oct 08, 2021 1:46 am

WayexTDI wrote:
BA744PHX wrote:
SEU wrote:


If you think its normal for most people to want a voucher instead of a refund, I have news for you....

To each their own…

Exactly. And the majority of the people prefer cash on hand than vouchers; to each their own.


I second this ! I prefer cash on my hands in uncertain times when nobody knows what tomorrow will be !
 
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sergegva
Posts: 258
Joined: Sat Jun 18, 2016 9:12 pm

Re: UK. Refund probe into Ryanair and BA dropped

Fri Oct 08, 2021 1:58 pm

LS83 wrote:
solletur wrote:
BA744PHX wrote:
Good will?? I don’t know if I’m the only one who preferred vouchers over refunds. If your intent is to fly again which is majority of people I don’t see the issues with getting vouchers.

I’ve been sitting on many vouchers with United and only recently started using them.


Same with me in Europe with Ryanair, BA & EasyJet, I much prefer vouchers!


Yes but in the real world people want the money back; family holidays etc.... a bunch of vouchers with no certainty are completely useless to them


The real world??!! Each to their own, but vouchers seem to be more popular than a refund. Their very flexible with most airlines, most of mine are valid until at least June/July 2022. With restrictions easing all over Europe now, so I’m sure they can be used with more certainty now…


What are the advantages of a voucher over a refund? None, unless the companies offer vouchers of a slightly higher value than the amount to be refunded, which is sometimes the case.
Most consumers prefer hard cash to a voucher. So much so, that this issue is one of the hobbyhorses of consumer advocacy organizations.

Among the many disavowals of vouchers are the following:

> Money blocked for a period that can be long
> Duration of the voucher sometimes limited in time
> Low flexibility (some airlines refuse to "bundle" vouchers and issue several that are difficult to stack)
> When a voucher is issued for a cancelled flight that was purchased well in advance, its value is usually low. The person who is going to reschedule their flight later may do so at the last minute. The new flight will then be more expensive and the voucher insufficient.
> It is not possible to accumulate several vouchers when buying a ticket on the website of several airlines. It is then necessary to make the reservation by phone, which is long and tedious nowadays.

My experience: following a cancelled TAP flight the first time in spring 2020, I received vouchers. I redeemed a flight in the fall of 2020. The new flight being of lower value, I "artificially" bought services (seat selection, priority boarding...) to avoid losing the voucher balance.
The flight was cancelled again.

I ended up with 2x3 vouchers (because 2 passengers). One with the residual value of the first voucher after the purchase of the 2nd flight, another with the value of the 2nd cancelled flight, and a last one with the value of the added services. However, the TAP website only allows you to use one voucher per ticket purchase, regardless of the number of passengers. To sum up, the purchase of a third flight cost me dozens of e-mails and more than an hour on the phone.

Apart from a few frequent flyers, I don't see who could be in favor of the vouchers.
 
WayexTDI
Posts: 2562
Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2018 4:38 pm

Re: UK. Refund probe into Ryanair and BA dropped

Fri Oct 08, 2021 3:04 pm

One more thing against vouchers: since it's a credit with a specific company, if the company declares bankruptcy, depending on the country's laws, that voucher might be worth nothing during or after bankruptcy proceedings, or if the company liquidates.
That's why people prefer cash on hand.
 
Cubsrule
Posts: 15374
Joined: Sat May 15, 2004 12:13 pm

Re: UK. Refund probe into Ryanair and BA dropped

Fri Oct 08, 2021 3:23 pm

sergegva wrote:
LS83 wrote:
solletur wrote:

Same with me in Europe with Ryanair, BA & EasyJet, I much prefer vouchers!


Yes but in the real world people want the money back; family holidays etc.... a bunch of vouchers with no certainty are completely useless to them


The real world??!! Each to their own, but vouchers seem to be more popular than a refund. Their very flexible with most airlines, most of mine are valid until at least June/July 2022. With restrictions easing all over Europe now, so I’m sure they can be used with more certainty now…


What are the advantages of a voucher over a refund? None, unless the companies offer vouchers of a slightly higher value than the amount to be refunded, which is sometimes the case.
Most consumers prefer hard cash to a voucher. So much so, that this issue is one of the hobbyhorses of consumer advocacy organizations.

Among the many disavowals of vouchers are the following:

> Money blocked for a period that can be long
> Duration of the voucher sometimes limited in time
> Low flexibility (some airlines refuse to "bundle" vouchers and issue several that are difficult to stack)
> When a voucher is issued for a cancelled flight that was purchased well in advance, its value is usually low. The person who is going to reschedule their flight later may do so at the last minute. The new flight will then be more expensive and the voucher insufficient.
> It is not possible to accumulate several vouchers when buying a ticket on the website of several airlines. It is then necessary to make the reservation by phone, which is long and tedious nowadays.

My experience: following a cancelled TAP flight the first time in spring 2020, I received vouchers. I redeemed a flight in the fall of 2020. The new flight being of lower value, I "artificially" bought services (seat selection, priority boarding...) to avoid losing the voucher balance.
The flight was cancelled again.

I ended up with 2x3 vouchers (because 2 passengers). One with the residual value of the first voucher after the purchase of the 2nd flight, another with the value of the 2nd cancelled flight, and a last one with the value of the added services. However, the TAP website only allows you to use one voucher per ticket purchase, regardless of the number of passengers. To sum up, the purchase of a third flight cost me dozens of e-mails and more than an hour on the phone.

Apart from a few frequent flyers, I don't see who could be in favor of the vouchers.


I think this is a bit of revisionist history with regard to the anticipated length of the pandemic. In the beginning, many (most?) people thought that things would be back to normal in a matter of months and we'd all go back to pre-pandemic levels of travel. And in that specific hypothetical situation, there's really nothing wrong with a voucher. Passengers can fly Airline X to Destination Y on roughly the schedule they were planning before the pandemic struck. The problem with vouchers vis a vis the pandemic has really come about because of hte length of the pandemic.
 
Brickell305
Posts: 1488
Joined: Sat Jun 24, 2017 2:07 pm

Re: UK. Refund probe into Ryanair and BA dropped

Fri Oct 08, 2021 4:57 pm

Cubsrule wrote:
sergegva wrote:
LS83 wrote:

The real world??!! Each to their own, but vouchers seem to be more popular than a refund. Their very flexible with most airlines, most of mine are valid until at least June/July 2022. With restrictions easing all over Europe now, so I’m sure they can be used with more certainty now…


What are the advantages of a voucher over a refund? None, unless the companies offer vouchers of a slightly higher value than the amount to be refunded, which is sometimes the case.
Most consumers prefer hard cash to a voucher. So much so, that this issue is one of the hobbyhorses of consumer advocacy organizations.

Among the many disavowals of vouchers are the following:

> Money blocked for a period that can be long
> Duration of the voucher sometimes limited in time
> Low flexibility (some airlines refuse to "bundle" vouchers and issue several that are difficult to stack)
> When a voucher is issued for a cancelled flight that was purchased well in advance, its value is usually low. The person who is going to reschedule their flight later may do so at the last minute. The new flight will then be more expensive and the voucher insufficient.
> It is not possible to accumulate several vouchers when buying a ticket on the website of several airlines. It is then necessary to make the reservation by phone, which is long and tedious nowadays.

My experience: following a cancelled TAP flight the first time in spring 2020, I received vouchers. I redeemed a flight in the fall of 2020. The new flight being of lower value, I "artificially" bought services (seat selection, priority boarding...) to avoid losing the voucher balance.
The flight was cancelled again.

I ended up with 2x3 vouchers (because 2 passengers). One with the residual value of the first voucher after the purchase of the 2nd flight, another with the value of the 2nd cancelled flight, and a last one with the value of the added services. However, the TAP website only allows you to use one voucher per ticket purchase, regardless of the number of passengers. To sum up, the purchase of a third flight cost me dozens of e-mails and more than an hour on the phone.

Apart from a few frequent flyers, I don't see who could be in favor of the vouchers.


I think this is a bit of revisionist history with regard to the anticipated length of the pandemic. In the beginning, many (most?) people thought that things would be back to normal in a matter of months and we'd all go back to pre-pandemic levels of travel. And in that specific hypothetical situation, there's really nothing wrong with a voucher. Passengers can fly Airline X to Destination Y on roughly the schedule they were planning before the pandemic struck. The problem with vouchers vis a vis the pandemic has really come about because of hte length of the pandemic.

I highly disagree. The average person would prefer a refund in any circumstance, whether there were a pandemic or not. As others have stated, unless there is a bonus given on a voucher, there is zero advantage to getting a voucher over getting cash. The only beneficiary of vouchers is the airline issuing them.
 
Cubsrule
Posts: 15374
Joined: Sat May 15, 2004 12:13 pm

Re: UK. Refund probe into Ryanair and BA dropped

Fri Oct 08, 2021 5:02 pm

Brickell305 wrote:
Cubsrule wrote:
sergegva wrote:

What are the advantages of a voucher over a refund? None, unless the companies offer vouchers of a slightly higher value than the amount to be refunded, which is sometimes the case.
Most consumers prefer hard cash to a voucher. So much so, that this issue is one of the hobbyhorses of consumer advocacy organizations.

Among the many disavowals of vouchers are the following:

> Money blocked for a period that can be long
> Duration of the voucher sometimes limited in time
> Low flexibility (some airlines refuse to "bundle" vouchers and issue several that are difficult to stack)
> When a voucher is issued for a cancelled flight that was purchased well in advance, its value is usually low. The person who is going to reschedule their flight later may do so at the last minute. The new flight will then be more expensive and the voucher insufficient.
> It is not possible to accumulate several vouchers when buying a ticket on the website of several airlines. It is then necessary to make the reservation by phone, which is long and tedious nowadays.

My experience: following a cancelled TAP flight the first time in spring 2020, I received vouchers. I redeemed a flight in the fall of 2020. The new flight being of lower value, I "artificially" bought services (seat selection, priority boarding...) to avoid losing the voucher balance.
The flight was cancelled again.

I ended up with 2x3 vouchers (because 2 passengers). One with the residual value of the first voucher after the purchase of the 2nd flight, another with the value of the 2nd cancelled flight, and a last one with the value of the added services. However, the TAP website only allows you to use one voucher per ticket purchase, regardless of the number of passengers. To sum up, the purchase of a third flight cost me dozens of e-mails and more than an hour on the phone.

Apart from a few frequent flyers, I don't see who could be in favor of the vouchers.


I think this is a bit of revisionist history with regard to the anticipated length of the pandemic. In the beginning, many (most?) people thought that things would be back to normal in a matter of months and we'd all go back to pre-pandemic levels of travel. And in that specific hypothetical situation, there's really nothing wrong with a voucher. Passengers can fly Airline X to Destination Y on roughly the schedule they were planning before the pandemic struck. The problem with vouchers vis a vis the pandemic has really come about because of hte length of the pandemic.

I highly disagree. The average person would prefer a refund in any circumstance, whether there were a pandemic or not. As others have stated, unless there is a bonus given on a voucher, there is zero advantage to getting a voucher over getting cash. The only beneficiary of vouchers is the airline issuing them.


You seem to be arguing with a straw man. I never said vouchers were superior to cash. Clearly they are not. But with an expectation of reasonably quick rebooking, vouchers aren't much worse than cash. Keep in mind that, per the relevant contracts of carriage, quite a few passengers who did not travel early in the pandemic were entitled to neither vouchers nor a refund.
 
User avatar
ClassicLover
Posts: 5315
Joined: Tue Mar 09, 2004 12:27 pm

Re: UK. Refund probe into Ryanair and BA dropped

Fri Oct 08, 2021 7:45 pm

readytotaxi wrote:
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has closed an investigation into the two airlines, saying there is a "lack of [legal] clarity".
Instead of offering refunds, the carriers offered vouchers or rebooking.


What is often missed here is that BA always refunded for cancelled flights. I got all my money back to my card for five or six cancelled trips, as BA cancelled the flights. The vouchers are really for when you decide not to travel. In pre-Covid times, if you didn't travel and you were on a non-refundable fare, you got no money back. Nowadays, if you decide not to travel, you get a voucher, which means you can use it in future.

In actual fact, we are living the dream right now when it comes to airline tickets (BA are allowing vouchers no questions asked for all bookings through to August 2022 for example), so it's only right this was dropped.
 
WayexTDI
Posts: 2562
Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2018 4:38 pm

Re: UK. Refund probe into Ryanair and BA dropped

Fri Oct 08, 2021 8:23 pm

Cubsrule wrote:
sergegva wrote:
LS83 wrote:

The real world??!! Each to their own, but vouchers seem to be more popular than a refund. Their very flexible with most airlines, most of mine are valid until at least June/July 2022. With restrictions easing all over Europe now, so I’m sure they can be used with more certainty now…


What are the advantages of a voucher over a refund? None, unless the companies offer vouchers of a slightly higher value than the amount to be refunded, which is sometimes the case.
Most consumers prefer hard cash to a voucher. So much so, that this issue is one of the hobbyhorses of consumer advocacy organizations.

Among the many disavowals of vouchers are the following:

> Money blocked for a period that can be long
> Duration of the voucher sometimes limited in time
> Low flexibility (some airlines refuse to "bundle" vouchers and issue several that are difficult to stack)
> When a voucher is issued for a cancelled flight that was purchased well in advance, its value is usually low. The person who is going to reschedule their flight later may do so at the last minute. The new flight will then be more expensive and the voucher insufficient.
> It is not possible to accumulate several vouchers when buying a ticket on the website of several airlines. It is then necessary to make the reservation by phone, which is long and tedious nowadays.

My experience: following a cancelled TAP flight the first time in spring 2020, I received vouchers. I redeemed a flight in the fall of 2020. The new flight being of lower value, I "artificially" bought services (seat selection, priority boarding...) to avoid losing the voucher balance.
The flight was cancelled again.

I ended up with 2x3 vouchers (because 2 passengers). One with the residual value of the first voucher after the purchase of the 2nd flight, another with the value of the 2nd cancelled flight, and a last one with the value of the added services. However, the TAP website only allows you to use one voucher per ticket purchase, regardless of the number of passengers. To sum up, the purchase of a third flight cost me dozens of e-mails and more than an hour on the phone.

Apart from a few frequent flyers, I don't see who could be in favor of the vouchers.


I think this is a bit of revisionist history with regard to the anticipated length of the pandemic. In the beginning, many (most?) people thought that things would be back to normal in a matter of months and we'd all go back to pre-pandemic levels of travel. And in that specific hypothetical situation, there's really nothing wrong with a voucher. Passengers can fly Airline X to Destination Y on roughly the schedule they were planning before the pandemic struck. The problem with vouchers vis a vis the pandemic has really come about because of hte length of the pandemic.

Thing is, doesn't matter if people thought the pandemic would last a month or a year, if the flight was cancelled by the airline (due to reduced load due to the pandemic) and the customer requests full reimbursement, then the airline must reimburse the passenger since it became a breach of contract. Same applies if the ticket was a reimbursable one.
If the passenger decided to cancel the trip (due to impossibility to enter another country or fear of the disease) and the ticket was non-reimbursable, then the airline can issue a voucher at its discretion.
 
seb76
Posts: 91
Joined: Tue May 20, 2008 5:02 pm

Re: UK. Refund probe into Ryanair and BA dropped

Fri Oct 08, 2021 10:06 pm

LS83 wrote:
solletur wrote:
BA744PHX wrote:
Good will?? I don’t know if I’m the only one who preferred vouchers over refunds. If your intent is to fly again which is majority of people I don’t see the issues with getting vouchers.

I’ve been sitting on many vouchers with United and only recently started using them.


Same with me in Europe with Ryanair, BA & EasyJet, I much prefer vouchers!


Yes but in the real world people want the money back; family holidays etc.... a bunch of vouchers with no certainty are completely useless to them


The real world??!! Each to their own, but vouchers seem to be more popular than a refund. Their very flexible with most airlines, most of mine are valid until at least June/July 2022. With restrictions easing all over Europe now, so I’m sure they can be used with more certainty now…


I can't agree with this. We are customers of the airline, not their bank. They are not supposed to keep your money if they can't deliver what you paid for.

Vouchers have a validity date and with the pandemic, many destinations have been suspended until further notice. For example, from Belgium, most flights are concentrating on Spain, Spanish islands, Greece, Italy, Portugal, ... mainly cheap sunny destinations, while many popular city trips or busines destinations are not well served for now.
The only reason I would use Ryanair is to fly to places that are not always served by other airlines, but for anything else, most people I know will prefer any possible alternative for ethical reasons even if it's slightly more expensive. If you initially bought those tickets to visit friends/family in a city not served by Ryanair anymore, the vouchers are just collecting dust on your desk.

It's OK to propose vouchers, but the customer should have the right to refuse and be able to quickly get a refund.
 
BA777FO
Posts: 634
Joined: Sun Apr 22, 2018 2:58 pm

Re: UK. Refund probe into Ryanair and BA dropped

Sat Oct 09, 2021 9:14 am

seb76 wrote:
LS83 wrote:
solletur wrote:

Same with me in Europe with Ryanair, BA & EasyJet, I much prefer vouchers!


Yes but in the real world people want the money back; family holidays etc.... a bunch of vouchers with no certainty are completely useless to them


The real world??!! Each to their own, but vouchers seem to be more popular than a refund. Their very flexible with most airlines, most of mine are valid until at least June/July 2022. With restrictions easing all over Europe now, so I’m sure they can be used with more certainty now…


I can't agree with this. We are customers of the airline, not their bank. They are not supposed to keep your money if they can't deliver what you paid for.


The point is though, they did deliver. The flight went. That people couldn't take the flight because of entry restrictions is what travel insurance is for.

It's OK to propose vouchers, but the customer should have the right to refuse and be able to quickly get a refund.


Then they should have bought a refundable ticket. The fare rules are very clear. In the case of BA, if the flight went, but you couldn't take it for any reason, they offered a voucher. That's incredibly generous for an airline losing billions because of government restrictions.

The anger here shouldn't be directed at airlines, but at governments for nonsensical restrictions on travel that clearly haven't delivered any benefits.
 
PhilipBass
Posts: 89
Joined: Fri Feb 19, 2021 6:30 pm

Re: UK. Refund probe into Ryanair and BA dropped

Sat Oct 09, 2021 9:57 am

Regardless of the rights or wrongs of it the reclamation of vouchers on Ryanair was faultless. All the codes were recognised and vouchers could be reclaimed in part and the system remembered how much was outstanding on each voucher with multiple vouchers being redeemable on each transaction. Every flight was eligible for redeem of vouchers.
That is the reason why so few people are complaining about this.

In the same way I bought vouchers for my local arthouse cinema as I wanted it to be there for me after the pandemic ended I didn't have issues with keeping my preferred airline solvent. Some may have preferred and needed cash refunded but a large proportion who weren't living hand to mouth had no issues with vouchers.
 
User avatar
Aesma
Posts: 14853
Joined: Sat Nov 14, 2009 6:14 am

Re: UK. Refund probe into Ryanair and BA dropped

Sat Oct 09, 2021 11:32 am

To me even with 10% bonus I don't see the advantage of a voucher. The only thing I would be OK with is a voucher allowing me to book the same flight anytime. Otherwise, with how airline pricing works, if I had a flight for a good price, there is no way I can be certain to get a flight for the amount of the voucher 1 or 2 years later.
 
rutankrd
Posts: 3130
Joined: Mon Sep 08, 2003 6:08 am

Re: UK. Refund probe into Ryanair and BA dropped

Sat Oct 09, 2021 3:04 pm

BA744PHX wrote:
readytotaxi wrote:
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has closed an investigation into the two airlines, saying there is a "lack of [legal] clarity".
Instead of offering refunds, the carriers offered vouchers or rebooking.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-58826484

Both airlines lost a lot of goodwill over this.

Good will?? I don’t know if I’m the only one who preferred vouchers over refunds. If your intent is to fly again which is majority of people I don’t see the issues with getting vouchers.

I’ve been sitting on many vouchers with United and only recently started using them.


Vouchers are promise and come with a list of potential caveats and restrictions. They are worthless whilst carrier retains YOUR MONEY in their bank accounts and/or in eschew earning short term interest.

Now I don't blame carriers for playing the game on pushing CASH refunds as far out as the legal limits allow (See above re short term interest)

As for infrequent and leisure travellers that money may well have been needed in the last year or so and should have been returned in full and on demand .
 
Cubsrule
Posts: 15374
Joined: Sat May 15, 2004 12:13 pm

Re: UK. Refund probe into Ryanair and BA dropped

Sat Oct 09, 2021 3:11 pm

rutankrd wrote:
BA744PHX wrote:
readytotaxi wrote:
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has closed an investigation into the two airlines, saying there is a "lack of [legal] clarity".
Instead of offering refunds, the carriers offered vouchers or rebooking.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-58826484

Both airlines lost a lot of goodwill over this.

Good will?? I don’t know if I’m the only one who preferred vouchers over refunds. If your intent is to fly again which is majority of people I don’t see the issues with getting vouchers.

I’ve been sitting on many vouchers with United and only recently started using them.


Vouchers are promise and come with a list of potential caveats and restrictions. They are worthless whilst carrier retains YOUR MONEY in their bank accounts and/or in eschew earning short term interest.

Now I don't blame carriers for playing the game on pushing CASH refunds as far out as the legal limits allow (See above re short term interest)

As for infrequent and leisure travellers that money may well have been needed in the last year or so and should have been returned in full and on demand .


I’m not sure why folks are missing this key point, but again the flights at issue operated. Consequently, BA and FR had no obligation to give the passengers anything. Cash surely would have been nicer than vouchers but the vouchers were gratuitous.
 
jomur
Posts: 443
Joined: Sun Jun 19, 2016 6:36 pm

Re: UK. Refund probe into Ryanair and BA dropped

Sat Oct 09, 2021 5:00 pm

Instead of investigating airlines that did offer a timely refund albeit via vouchers they should have been investigating those airlines that deliberately took months to refund passengers... looking at you Virgin Atlantic, there was no legal reason why it was taking 6 months to refund people.
 
Boeing74741R
Posts: 1532
Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2007 5:44 am

Re: UK. Refund probe into Ryanair and BA dropped

Mon Oct 11, 2021 11:55 am

Aesma wrote:
To me even with 10% bonus I don't see the advantage of a voucher. The only thing I would be OK with is a voucher allowing me to book the same flight anytime. Otherwise, with how airline pricing works, if I had a flight for a good price, there is no way I can be certain to get a flight for the amount of the voucher 1 or 2 years later.


Indeed. 2019 pricing might not be seen again for a long time. It also depends on the value of the voucher. For me, given the uncertain times we were in for much of 2020 and 2021, it was preferable to get my money back than tie it up in a voucher, though it's a personal choice.

BA777FO wrote:
Then they should have bought a refundable ticket. The fare rules are very clear. In the case of BA, if the flight went, but you couldn't take it for any reason, they offered a voucher. That's incredibly generous for an airline losing billions because of government restrictions.


Ordinarily, I agree. In the context of COVID, I think the expectation is for airlines to offer a bit more leniency in the event of COVID preventing travel for whatever reason. In the UK at least, what doesn't help is that the FCDO's travel advice didn't necessarily concur with the red/amber/green lists that used to be in place, so even if a country was green or amber, if the FCDO are advising against all but essential travel or against all travel at all, people are stuck.

It's a good point that you raised about travel insurance, however that would depend if your insurer is willing to pay out. I seem to recall a lot of insurers moving quick to avoid having to pay out on travel insurance for COVID-related claims, particularly for those taking out brand new policies.

jomur wrote:
Instead of investigating airlines that did offer a timely refund albeit via vouchers they should have been investigating those airlines that deliberately took months to refund passengers... looking at you Virgin Atlantic, there was no legal reason why it was taking 6 months to refund people.


As someone who had a booking with Virgin Holidays that was only refunded several weeks after the holiday was supposed to take place having been notified a couple of months prior the trip was being cancelled by them (so almost 4 months from memory), I'm not sure what benefit is going to come out of probing VS and its subsidiaries at this time. I also believe refunds are/were issued much more quickly nowadays. I also had a cancellation from easyJet that took them 7 weeks from the date I was supposed to fly to give me my money back.

If anything, I would say investigation efforts should be focused on the UK government and why the aviation and travel industries were effectively left to fend for themselves. I recall a few people on here were quite happy to let VS go bust around the time they were trying to get government support. If they had gone under, many people would have never got their refunds.

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