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Ryanair - flight to Germany


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Ryanair:  We have booked and paid for return tickets to fly to Frankfurt for New Year - £300+ (visiting our son and family).  Since then, the German government has decreed British citizens non resident in Germany are not allowed to enter the country because of Covid restrictions. We have tried to contact Ryanair to find out we can do and offered to postpone until later in the year ie. not demanding a refund necessarily. We have had no success in even having a meaningful conversation with anyone at Ryanair - they seem to assume we are still going (reminding us about protocol and ordering food on the plane!) We have tried to explain we are not German citizens and therefore are barred from boarding the plane. What can we do and what are our rights?


Sue and Ivan Godfrey 

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I would say that the contract is frustrated "by operation of law" and effectively this means that the contract is voided and you should be entitled to your money.

It would be unlawful for them to carry you to Germany and it would be unlawful for you to go.

You haven't said what date you intended to go – but I would certainly put them on notice in writing by email and also by recorded delivery letter informing them that it is now impossible for either of you – the airline or you, to perform the contract because of legal restrictions imposed by the German government and therefore you are giving them notice that the contract is void.

See what happens – I expect nothing – and then come back here and we will discuss the next course of action.

However, a paper trail is essential.

How did you pay for the tickets?

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How much on the debit card?

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Send the letter which I suggested above.

Contact your bank immediately and begin a chargeback process. Your bank won't like it – but explain to them exactly what has happened and that Ryanair won't comply and that for them to perform the contract would be unlawful and therefore the bank has a duty to recover the money and to remitted to your account.

Make sure you get a reference number for this chargeback request and make sure it is confirmed in writing so that you have a paper trail for that as well.

Log onto PayPal and begin a dispute on exactly the same basis. You may have slightly more difficulty recovering your money from PayPal – but begin the dispute anyway. How much money are we talking about in respect of PayPal?

You can tell Ryanair that this is what you've done. Once again, expect to be ignored by Ryanair – but expect them to lurch into action the moment they realise that you are getting your money back by some other means.

Keep us informed

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Ryanair had been banning some people for obtaining refunds. Thats totally unacceptable and unfair, but I thought I might mention that in case you wanted to travel with them in the near future. I believe they have now caved and adjusted this policy. It might be worth mentioning this to them. I've put some links below


"Ryanair has promised to start refunding customers for cancelled flights within five working days, after criticism of its reimbursements policy during the pandemic."



Airline, which even barred some people who sought redress, commits to refunds within five working days



Ryanair has barred some passengers who received 'chargeback' refunds for Covid-disrupted flights from travelling with the low-cost...


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  • 2 weeks later...

Sorry to contradict Bankfodder: from my personal experience PayPal have been really good at refunding covid travel expenses. This is because most travel companies do not bother replying to the dispute within the timer (think it was either 30 or 45 days) and it will settle in your favour then.


If you have evidence that you contacted ryanair and they have ignored you, that should be good enough to immediately escalate the dispute so you start the 45 day timer.


I wouldn't put it past them to have a full team of staff dedicated to defending paypal disputes, in contrast to not having anyone reply to customers, but you can find out for us and let us know soon :)

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Don't worry about contradicting me if I have got it wrong about PayPal. The important thing is that the correct information gets out to the people who visit this forum.

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It starts when you escalate the complaint.  Paypal dispute has 2 stages:


Dispute raised:

-There paypal is just a communications tool and your messages are sent directly through vendor. If you have already attempted to communicate with ryanair don't put too many details on this part, just a brief summary as well as what you have already attempted to do.


Dispute escalated to Paypal:

-That's when you deal directly with Paypal and no longer communicate with the vendor. This is when the timer starts so do it asap.


At the 2nd stage make sure you fill the form very thoroughly with details of exactly what happened, how many times you got in touch and how many times they ignored you etc...

If Ryanair respond to your dispute Paypal will need to make a decision whose arguments were most compelling.


If they don't respond you auto win.

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