Two friends are in limbo after their girls’ weekend in Greece was canceled three times due to the coronavirus crisis.
Liza Aldis and Julie Guy booked their time off in October 2019 – but almost two years later they haven’t set foot on a plane – or got their money back from the low-cost airline Ryanair.
The friends spent around £ 550 on their original booking to Rhodes which was due to be in May 2020.
But when the coronavirus crisis brought airports and ground holidays to a standstill, the 47-year-old saw her trip canceled.
The couple, who live in Rochdale, accepted a voucher from Ryanair and rebooked – with a £ 40 difference in price – to fly in August 2020.
The second trip was also canceled, but the unwavering buddies took another voucher, this time a rebooking for May 2021.
But when the third trip was canceled in February of this year, they opted for a refund – but they’re still waiting for their money back.
Liza told the mirror : “I just wanted to do a girls weekend that we booked in October 2019, but now we’re almost £ 600 down.
“The first was canceled, then the second… at first we thought instead of getting a refund it would be easier to get a voucher – but then you have to move on.
“I haven’t heard from Ryanair since February. I tried calling and contacting her on Facebook.
“I couldn’t reach anyone on the phone – the phone just cuts off.”
She added, “We are stuck in the balance and do not know what to do. It’s been a nightmare since day one and has been dragging on since 2019. “
The mother of one child, Karissa Bradshaw, is also fighting for a refund from the airline.
The 22-year-old and a friend lost £ 600 from Ryanair for a girls trip to Ibiza that was due to take place this month.
They claim they have been told that moving flights to June 2022 will cost £ 379, despite Spain and Ibiza being an “amber” country on the new traffic light list.
Karissa booked the trip through Love Holidays and spent £ 1,465 on flights, hotel and transfers.
She requested Love Holidays to get back the £ 774 used to book the hotels last week – minus a £ 75 administration fee – but has to wait 14 days for the money to be refunded.
But Karissa, who lives in Huddersfield, said she was unable to reach anyone at Ryanair to discuss her options.
“It was horrible from start to finish,” she said.
“I didn’t expect Covid to last that long.
“I’ve never been out with friends so it was pretty annoying. It wouldn’t be so bad if I could get my money back.”
A Love Holidays spokesperson said, “We are offering no fee changes or full refunds of all hotel and transfer costs, as we did for Karissa.
“We pay the airfare to the airline at the time of booking, so any flight refund in this situation is subject to the airline’s policy.
“Many airlines, including Ryanair, have chosen to continue operating flights and, under their terms and conditions, refuse to give customers a cash refund if a flight is still running, even if a customer understandably cancels their vacation.” . “
Ryanair and British Airways are both investigating whether they have violated competition law by not offering refunds to customers who were unable to fly legal flights due to local bans or new travel restrictions due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Competition and Market Authority (CMA) announced on Wednesday that it had opened “enforcement cases” and was examining the airlines – a final decision had not yet been made.
Andrea Cocelli, CEO of the CMA, said: “While we understand airlines had a tough time during the pandemic, people shouldn’t be left unjustly out of their pockets to obey the law.
“Customers booked these flights in good faith and were legally unable to take them due to circumstances beyond their control.
“We believe these people should be offered their money back.”