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Ryanair passenger wins £400 refund after taking airline to court over Covid rules row

A Ryanair passenger won a refund through the small claims court (Nicholas T Ansell/PA) (PA Wire)
A Ryanair passenger won a refund through the small claims court (Nicholas T Ansell/PA) (PA Wire)

A Ryanair customer has managed to win a £429 refund from the airline after taking the case to court and citing Covid-19 travel rules.

Nick Blades, 65, from Woolaston in Gloucestershire, had booked to fly from Bristol to Malaga with the budget airline departing 30 July 2020.

Mr Blades did not travel as planned, reports Money Saving Expert (MSE), as the Foreign Office Advice (FCDO) at that time was to to avoid all “non-essential travel”.

However, Ryanair refused to refund him for the flight at the time. He escalated the matter twice but was refused both times.

The low-cost carrier argued that Mr Blades was not entitled to his money back as the flight had not been officially cancelled, and went ahead as planned.

Skipping chargeback or another complaint route, he instead decided to start proceedings in August 2021, filing a case against Ryanair with Gloucester and Cheltenham County Court.

Once he’d filed court proceedings, the airline’s solicitors offered Mr Blades a travel credit voucher worth £339.36, but he decided to pursue the case as he wanted a cash refund.

He won the case, and was awarded £429: the price of the original flight plus £90 for his court fees.

While a decision by the small claims court is not legally binding and therefore doesn’t set a legal precedent, it serves as an example in similar future cases.

“If you’re still owed money for a flight you didn’t take due to Covid guidance and haven’t already got your money back, this could be a route to try,” suggests MSE.

A spokesperson for Ryanair said: “While we do not comment on individual cases, our general terms and conditions of carriage, which are available at every step of the booking process and which passengers expressly agree to before completing their bookings, provide that we may refuse carriage where a passenger owes money in respect of a previous flight due to payment having been recharged against us.”