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Ryanair to axe UK flights: here’s how to get a refund

Ryanair announced this morning that it will significantly cut its flight schedules from 21 January.

It says it will operate few, if any, flights from the UK or to/from Ireland by the end of the month.

The budget airline said most flights will remain grounded until Government lockdown restrictions are removed.

This is actually good news for customers who can’t fly due to the lockdown restrictions because Ryanair will be obliged to refund anyone who’d booked a ticket on a flight that has been cancelled.

All customers affected by these further flight cancellations and further travel restrictions will receive emails advising them of their entitlements of free moves and/or refunds later today,” it said.


My flight is cancelled, what are my rights?

If your flight is cancelled by the airline you have the right to a cash refund. You should receive a refund within 7 dyas, although Ryanair has typically taken longer than this to process refunds for flights cancelled during the pandemic so you might have to wait a while for your money back.

If you are overseas and your return flight home is cancelled, the airline is obliged to find you a seat on another flight, even if this means it has to buy a seat for you on a rival airline.


I’ve been sent a voucher, should I accept it?

Ryanair usually automatically issues customers with vouchers for cancelled flights rather than cash refunds. You should expect to receive an email from Ryanair with a link to accept a voucher.

You do not need to accept the voucher, you have the right to a cash refund if this is your preference.

The email you receive should receive two links, one to accept the voucher and a second link (usually at the bottom, keep scrolling!) for a cash refund. You need to click this link if you want your money back. Ryanair likely will not process your refund unless you click this link, even if you’ve previously requested a refund online or via a separate email.

Previous Ryanair customers have reported that even after clicking the link in the email to request a refund they have been sent further emails inviting them to accept a voucher or reminding them to use the voucher they’ve already refused – you need to be persistent and keep rejecting the voucher. Don’t ignore these follow up emails, keep clicking the link to reject the voucher.

If you receive emails without a link to request a refund, you could try going on and requesting a refund via the online chat, or use Twitter to message the airline (use @Ryanair) – many customers have had success doing this.


I’ve already moved my flight, can I still get a refund instead?

Some customers will have taken advantage of Ryanair’s to move their flight to a later date after the Government announced the latest lockdown, which includes a ban on leisure travel.

If you have already moved your flight to another date, you won’t be entitled to a refund if your original flight is cancelled. The same applies if you cancelled your flight yourself before the airline cancels the service.

Linsey McNeill

A journalist and travel writer of 35 years' standing, a once-a-week yogi, terrible skier and out-of-order mum to 2 teens. Previously Editor of, bylines also include The Telegraph, The Times, The Observer, the London Evening Standard, Which? and The South China Morning Post.

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