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British Airways, Ryanair, Facing Probe for Lack of COVID-19 Refunds

British Airways and Ryanair are under investigation to find out whether the firms breached consumer laws by not offering refunds to customers for cancelled flights due tothe Covid-19 pandemic.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said the companies should have issued refunds for the cancelled trips when planes were grounded due to the pandemic.

Investigators will be writing to both airlines and will also look at whether refunds should have been given where flights took place but non-essential travel was banned due to lockdown restrictions.

During the pandemic, BA offered vouchers or rebookings, while Ryanair provided the option to rebook, the CMA added.

Legally, customers are entitled to a cash refund within 14 days.

The watchdog said: “The CMA is concerned that, by failing to offer people their money back, both firms may have breached consumer law and left people unfairly out of pocket.

“It is now seeking to resolve these concerns with the companies, which may include seeking refunds, or other redress, for affected customers.”

CMA chief executive Andrea Coscelli added: “While we understand that airlines have had a tough time during the pandemic, people should not be left unfairly out of pocket for following the law.

“Customers booked these flights in good faith and were legally unable to take them due to circumstances entirely outside of their control. We believe these people should have been offered their money back.”

The agency added that it should not be assumed either airline has broken the law.

A spokesperson for British Airways said the company has issued more than 3 million refunds.

She added: “We continue to offer highly flexible booking policies at the same time as operating a vastly reduced schedule due to government-imposed travel restrictions, and we have acted lawfully at all times.

“It is incredible that the government is seeking to punish further an industry that is on its knees, after prohibiting airlines from meaningful flying for well over a…

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