Regulator closes BA-Ryanair Covid refunds probe

Regulator closes BA-Ryanair COVID refunds probe
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Regulator closes BA-Ryanair Covid refunds probe due to “lack of legal clarity”.

The competition regulator has closed down their investigation. They had been investigating if Ryanair and British Airways (BA) broke the law when they did not offer refunds to customers who were prevented from flying by Covid travel restrictions.

Consumer groups and passengers had complained about the lack of refunds. In June the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) launched its investigation. This has now been closed though due to a “lack of clarity” in the law.


According to the government: “CMA has concluded that the law does not provide passengers with a sufficiently clear right to a refund in these unusual circumstances to justify continuing with the case.”

Andrea Coscelli, Chief Executive of the CMA, said: “We strongly believe people who are legally prevented from taking flights due to lockdown laws should be offered a full refund and we launched this investigation in the hope that we would be able to secure a positive outcome for consumers.

“However, after considering the relevant law and gathering evidence in our investigation, we have concluded that the length of time that would be required to take this case through the courts, and the uncertain outcome, can no longer justify the further expense of public money.

“Given the importance of this to many passengers who have unfairly lost out, we hope that the law in this area will be clarified.”

Ryanair is pleased by the decision made by the CMA and commented: “Ryanair welcomes the CMA’s decision to close its investigation.

“We operated a limited schedule during UK lockdowns for customers who travelled for essential reasons.

“Passengers had the option to change their bookings without paying the flight change fee and many availed of this option.”

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Alex Glenn is a reporter for Spain’s largest English-speaking newspaper, Euro Weekly News. Formerly she worked in the NHS for 15 years until relocating to Spain in 2018. She loves the Spanish lifestyle, language and culture and spent several years learning Spanish before moving to Spain for a better quality of life. She has made her home in the mountains in Almeria, where she loves being part of a rural community that has a mix of both expats and Spanish residents. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, reading and exploring the area where she lives.


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