Is a £280 fee to change Ryanair flights excessive? It’s one of the many coronavirus topics tackled by the Holiday Guru this week
The Holiday Guru is always on hand to fix your travel conundrums.
This week, the topics tackled are – claiming a refund for a cancelled easyJet flight to Dubrovnik, rebooking and cancelling Ryanair flights, flying with Norwegian Air to the U.S and travelling to Canada for Christmas.
Q. I have had a return easyJet flight to Dubrovnik cancelled. The airline has refused to refund my money even though I know friends have had refunds. Can you help?
Susan Nash, via email.
One reader asks if £280 is excessive for changing Ryanair flights
A. European Union Regulation 261/2004 entitles you to a full refund within seven days. It appears there has been a mix-up as you filled out a form that requests compensation for the cancellation rather than merely a refund.
As the troubles were beyond easyJet’s control, no compensation is due. Go to easyJet’s Covid-19 Help Hub at easyjet.com and click on the Refund Request Form page. Then complete the form. This should work.
Q. I booked a holiday in Tenerife on July 8, with a Ryanair flight that is now going ahead. I have an underlying heart condition and am worried about travelling. Can I cancel and get my money back?
Raymond, via email.
A. Sadly, no. Airlines regard such health worries as a ‘disinclination to travel’. If the flight had been cancelled due to this year’s troubles, you would have been due a refund in seven days.
Q. My wife and I are both in our 70s. We booked a package holiday to Malta with Mercury Holidays for September 6, paying a £498 deposit. The balance of £917 is due shortly, but we are concerned about travelling due to coronavirus. Mercury has agreed to postpone the travel date until next year, but Ryanair is levying a fee of £280 to change the flights. Isn’t this excessive?
David, via email.
A. Ryanair’s standard flight change charge is £35 per passenger; as explained in its Help Centre online at ryanair.com. So it is charging £105 extra per passenger for the change, which the airline reserves the right to do when fares increase. Its lowest fares for flights to Malta are from about £50 return but, in September 2021, they are as much as £190 return. Although £280 sounds a lot, it does not sound excessive in this instance.
Q. I read Norwegian Air will not fly again until 2021, but I can’t contact it for a refund on my Boston flight on September 29. What can I do?
David Gardner, via email.
One reader asks how to get a refund for a flight to Boston, pictured, with Norwegian Air
A. Reports that Norwegian Air is not flying until April 2021 are incorrect — based on the airline’s statement that it aims to be financially robust enough to weather a travel shutdown until then. It intends to resume short-haul flights this summer and long-haul after that. If your flight is cancelled, you will be informed four weeks before departure and reimbursed.
Q. Do you know when flights will resume to Toronto? I would like to spend Christmas with family there, instead of being alone.
Susan Wragg, via email.
A. There is now a 14-day quarantine in Canada and flights are only being offered for ‘essential travel’. Restrictions are being reviewed periodically, but there is little sign of imminent change.
WE’RE HERE TO HELP
If you need advice, the Holiday Guru is here to answer your questions. Please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org — and include your contact details.