Ryanair refund refusal set to further dent traveller confidence

Following the release of Ryanair’s latest financials, showing an 80% decline in passengers and a net loss of $229m (€197m) for the six months to the end of September; the airline has declared refunds will be non-existent for November 2020, and from 5 November, UK citizens cannot travel overseas or within the UK unless for work, education or other legally permitted reasons;

Johanna Bonhill-Smith, Travel & Tourism Analyst at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers her view:

Ryanair is famous for its bullish, no-frills strategy as travellers simply ‘get what they pay for’. However, the declaration that no refunds will be offered for November may be a step too far for consumers and not aid the brand’s reputation or credibility – especially as, despite COVID concerns, a whole 25% of UK consumers were still planning to travel by 2020, according to GlobalData’s latest consumer survey*.

“However, despite the intent to travel, the new UK lockdown rules will not legally permit holidays until 2 December, which will crash traveller numbers. Refusing to offer refunds for the next month, Ryanair now has to make serious decisions as to how viable its planned flights will actually be and whether these will continue to operate. All travel companies will be under intense scrutiny for how they handle customer refunds and requests right now – Ryanair included.

Ryanair has kept its forecasts to carry 38 million passengers this financial year in place but has now stated that this could be subject to change if European governments continue to ‘mismanage travel’ with additional travel restrictions put in place across the winter. While this will undoubtedly affect demand, refusal of refunds also has the power to further decimate future confidence – a move which will likely cause further headwinds for the operator”.

GlobalData consumer survey conducted on 500 UK people between 7 and 11 October

More Media