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Lastminute.com, Teletext Holidays and Ryanair named and shamed after hideous results in major new MSE Covid travel refunds survey – action's needed

Lastminute.com, Teletext Holidays and Ryanair named and shamed after hideous results in major new MSE Covid travel refunds survey – action's needed

A major new survey by MoneySavingExpert.com has revealed which travel firms are least likely to have paid out full refunds for trips cancelled due to coronavirus, with Lastminute.com, Teletext Holidays, Loveholidays and Ryanair among those rated worst. With many customers waiting over six months to get cash back, we're passing our findings to the Government and regulators and calling for urgent action.

The survey – our third this year looking at refunds for those unable to travel due to coronavirus – ran between 19 November and 4 December and had 42,653 individual responses. It found:

  • Lastminute.com, Teletext Holidays, Loveholidays and Ryanair are among the big names that were rated worst for giving full refunds for trips they'd cancelled. Just 8% of Lastminute.com customers told us they'd had a full refund. See firm-by-firm refund rates.

  • One in seven of all those who'd had a trip cancelled and have got or are seeking a refund said they've had to wait over six months – and with some firms it's far more. That's despite the law saying you should get a refund for cancelled flights within seven days, and for cancelled package holidays within 14. See firm-by-firm waiting times

  • Big names with dire overall feedback include Lastminute.com, Ryanair and Loveholidays. Once again, we found a stark divide in the way different firms treat their customers when we asked about your overall experience, including on refunds and cancellations – Hays Travel, Jet2 Holidays and Jet2 did much better. See firm-by-firm feedback

  • The travellers who had most trouble are those who booked holidays before the pandemic – if you booked more recently, firms are making it easier to get a refund. Thirty-three per cent of those who had booked since March said they were able to get a refund within two weeks, compared with just 19% of those who had booked before, and they were also more likely to have been automatically refunded and happier with outcomes. See pre-pandemic vs mid-pandemic bookings.

  • 30% who had bookings cancelled have had to make at least three phone calls to the travel firm. And 16% spent more than two hours on the phone. See firm-by-firm contact times

While not a statistically random sample of the UK public, this huge survey does paint a strong picture of what's going on in travel refunds, and we'll be passing the findings on to Government and regulators. Here are the detailed results – for full help on refunds, your cancellation rights and more, see Coronavirus Travel Rights.

'We're naming and shaming Teletext Holidays, Lastminute.com and Ryanair – but that's not enough. Regulators must intervene to protect consumers and stop what has often been law-breaking'

MoneySavingExpert.com founder Martin Lewis said: "Enough is enough. Firms big and small – including household names Ryanair, Lastminute.com and Teletext Holidays – have seemingly ignored the law and regulations, and left many customers frustrated, angry and out of pocket. This has a real impact on people's wellbeing, adding to the stress – both financial and emotional – many are already under.

"Frustratingly, in this, the third time we have run this large survey, some firms have made very little improvement – with many people still waiting for their refunds half a year later.

"Of course, the impact of the pandemic on the travel industry has been huge, and I've regularly called for 'forbearance' both ways – if people can help by taking vouchers, or rebooking, then they should. But the law is clear on when you're entitled to a refund, and how long it should take, and some of the biggest names in travel have simply not complied.

"We will again pass the results of this survey to Government and regulators. They need to step up their action. The Competition and Markets Authority has already started intervention with a number of firms, and this week noted it would step up that action. Let's hope that bears fruit quickly. I'd urge those who have had trouble with a particular firm to ensure you report it directly to the CMA as well.

"It's important too to note that some firms have gone above and beyond in 2020, even amidst the most difficult circumstances the travel industry has ever seen. Travel will return in 2021, and my hope is that when travellers are booking next year, they remember the likes of Travel Counsellors, Trailfinders, Haven, Hays Travel and Jet2 – and reward them with their repeat or possible first custom." 

1. Lastminute.com, Teletext Holidays and Loveholidays are among the big names least likely to give full refunds

We asked travellers who'd had bookings cancelled by firms whether or not they'd had a full refund from the firm.

Among the big names, Lastminute.com performed extremely poorly, with just 8% of customers telling us they'd had a full refund. Teletext Holidays (12%), Loveholidays (32%) and Ryanair (33%) also did badly. And of the 74 respondents who'd had trips cancelled by package holiday provider Fleetway, not a single one said they'd had a full refund – unfortunately Fleetway went into administration in July. STA Travel also stopped trading in August, and just 3% of its customers said they'd had a full refund.  

Some who didn't get full refunds may have been able to rebook, or get a voucher or partial refund, instead. But in most cases firms that had paid out full refunds to a smaller proportion were unlikely to see many customers rebook either. Fewer than 1% of Lastminute.com customers told us they'd rebooked – just 1% of Loveholidays and Ryanair customers had, while for Teletext Holidays it was 8%. 

Jet2 Holidays and Jet2 were the firms that had paid out the highest proportion of full refunds – with both brands, 89% of customers with bookings cancelled said they'd had their money back. Another big firm that did well was Hays Travel, with 73% reporting full refunds. 

Last time we did this survey, overall fewer than a third (31%) said they'd had a full refund. This time there was an improvement, but still only 51% said they'd had their money back. A further 15% had been told they're getting a refund but not yet received it, 8% were in the process of chasing one and 6% said they'd managed to get money back via their card provider instead – via the chargeback or Section 75 schemes.

Which firms have given full refunds? (Ranked worst to best)

Firm Respondents with bookings cancelled by firm % who have received full refund from firm
1. Fleetway (1) 74 0%
2. STA Travel (1) 90 3%
3. Air Transat 144 3%
4. TravelUp 294 4%
5. Alpharooms 303 6%
6. Opodo 424 8%
7. Lastminute.com 694 8%
8. BudgetAir 127 11%
9. Teletext Holidays 660 12%
10. Jetline 223 12%
11. Shearings 73 18%
12. Vueling 89 18%
13. Holiday Extras 72 21%
14. Villa Plus 244 30%
15. Secret Escapes 127 31%
16. KLM 213 31%
17. Loveholidays 1,197 32%
18. Ryanair 2,518 33%
19. Princess Cruises 85 34%
20. Turkish Airlines 55 35%
21. Barrhead 141 35%
22. Iglu 681 35%
23. Brittany Ferries 114 36%
24. Air France 100 39%
25. Qatar Airways 63 40%
26. Travel Trolley 81 41%
27. Hotels.com 75 43%
28. Wizz Air 79 44%
29. Lufthansa 119 45%
30. Emirates 231 45%
31. Aer Lingus 141 49%
32. Butlin's 56 50%
33. Expedia 326 51%
34. Booking.com 197 51%
35. Riviera 94 51%
36. Eurostar 72 51%
37. P&O Cruises 417 52%
38. On the Beach 333 56%
39. Virgin Atlantic 587 56%
40. Netflights 83 57%
41. Sykes Cottages 70 57%
42. Haven 71 59%
43. Easyjet 2,343 60%
44. Saga 130 61%
45. Center Parcs 94 62%
46. Co-operative Travel 53 62%
47. Cottages.com 53 62%
48. First Choice 112 65%
49. British Airways 1,761 65%
50. Hoseasons 101 67%
51. Easyjet Holidays 197 69%
52. Norwegian Air 129 71%
53. Tui 2,232 71%
54. Hays Travel 774 73%
55. Virgin Holidays 527 74%
56. Travel Counsellors 198 76%
57. James Villa Holidays 55 80%
58. Travelbag 55 80%
59. Travel Republic 279 81%
60. Trailfinders 337 84%
61. Airbnb 184 87%
62. British Airways Holidays 227 87%
63. Jet2 1,722 89%
64. Jet2 Holidays 1,454 89%

We've included firms with more than 50 responses on this question, as it's a factual answer. The 50-response threshold is why most of the firms included are national brands, rather than smaller, independent companies. The 10 biggest firms in terms of number of responses to our question on overall experience are in bold. (1) Has now stopped trading – some other firms listed may also have stopped trading. 

2. One in seven of all those who'd had a trip cancelled and have got or are seeking a refund have had to wait over SIX MONTHS – with Lastminute.com and Teletext Holidays it's far more

We asked those who'd had trips cancelled by a firm and have got or are seeking a refund how long they've had to wait.

Overall,15% told us they'd waited over six months – and in many cases these people hadn't yet got a refund and were still waiting. Some 38% said they'd waited at least three months. The law says you should get a refund for cancelled flights within seven days, and for cancelled package holidays within 14, so the vast majority should have been refunded much quicker. 

Among big names, Lastminute.com (38% said they'd waited over six months), Teletext Holidays (37%) and Ryanair (33%) appeared to be dragging their feet, while two-thirds (66%) of BudgetAir customers said they'd waited over six months. 

At the other end, Airbnb and British Airways Holidays were quick to refund, with 92% of customers waiting less than a month for their money back. Jet2 Holidays (90%) and Jet2 (88%) also did well.

Note that below, the columns include those who got their refund in the time stated, and those for whom it's been that long since they started their claim, though they hadn't had their refund yet.

How long customers who got or sought a refund have waited (worst to best)

Firm (& no. of votes) % waiting less than 1mth % waiting 1-3mths % waiting 3-6mths % waiting over 6mths
1. BudgetAir (87) 1% 8% 25% 66%
2. Opodo (277) 3% 15% 36% 47%
3. Jetline (123) 2% 14% 40% 44%
4. Iglu (569) 2% 5% 52% 40%
5. Lastminute.com (459) 4% 20% 37% 38%
6. Teletext Holidays (417) 12% 13% 38% 37%
7. Alpharooms (146) 10% 12% 41% 37%
8. TravelUp (98) 9% 19% 35% 37%
9. KLM (134) 10% 17% 37% 37%
10. Ryanair (1,866) 8% 16% 42% 33%
11. Air Transat (64) 3% 8% 56% 33%
12. Secret Escapes (62) 21% 15% 35% 29%
13. Lufthansa (88) 24% 25% 26% 25%
14. Princess Cruises (53) 21% 28% 26% 25%
15. Emirates (146) 27% 26% 24% 23%
16. Loveholidays (814) 12% 23% 42% 23%
17. Air France (62) 26% 24% 29% 21%
18. Travel Trolley (55) 15% 33% 33% 20%
19. Virgin Atlantic (432) 6% 18% 57% 20%
20. Expedia (226) 33% 23% 26% 18%
21. Aer Lingus (94) 32% 29% 26% 14%
22. Netflights (66) 21% 35% 30% 14%
23. Barrhead (118) 4% 27% 55% 14%
24. Wizz Air (51) 35% 31% 22% 12%
25. Riviera (55) 42% 22% 25% 11%
26. P&O Cruises (290) 21% 39% 31% 9%
27. Virgin Holidays (437) 11% 12% 69% 8%
28. Booking.com (122) 68% 14% 11% 7%
29. Norwegian Air (111) 55% 23% 17% 5%
30. British Airways (1,333) 75% 13% 7% 5%
31. Travel Republic (245) 21% 53% 21% 5%
32. Easyjet (1,720) 43% 39% 13% 5%
33. On the Beach (251) 30% 40% 26% 4%
34. Tui (1,682) 52% 30% 15% 3%
35. First Choice (76) 61% 29% 8% 3%
36. Center Parcs (61) 74% 18% 7% 2%
37. Hoseasons (75) 71% 13% 15% 1%
38. Easyjet Holidays (154) 73% 22% 4% 1%
39. British Airways Holidays (202) 92% 4% 3% 1%
40. Hays Travel (611) 78% 16% 6% 1%
41. Travel Counsellors (156) 72% 23% 4% 1%
42. Airbnb (162) 92% 6% 2% 1%
43. Jet2 (1,579) 88% 11% 1% 0%
44. Jet2 Holidays (1,319) 90% 9% 0% 0%
45. Sykes Cottages (50) 78% 14% 8% 0%
46. Saga (86) 70% 27% 3% 0%
47. Trailfinders (286) 70% 27% 3% 0%
48. Villa Plus (170) 27% 57% 16% 0%
49. Travelbag (50) 22% 50% 28% 0%

Firms ranked by % waiting over six months. We've included firms with more than 50 responses on this question, as it's a factual answer. The 50-response threshold is why most of the firms included are national brands, rather than smaller, independent companies. The 10 biggest firms in terms of number of responses to our question on overall experience are in bold.

3. Lastminute.com, Ryanair and Loveholidays are among the big names with dire overall feedback, while Hays Travel and Jet2 won praise

We asked survey respondents about their experience overall, asking them to rate it as 'great', 'OK' or 'poor'. We then ranked the firms by taking the percentage of those who had a 'great' experience with the company and subtracting the percentage who had a 'poor' experience to give a 'net experience score'. 

Four big names did particularly poorly: Lastminute.com came near bottom with a net score of -92%, while Ryanair got -77% and Loveholidays -68%. Teletext Holidays scored -45%. Bottom of the pile was Jetline (-95%) followed by Opodo (-94%).

At the top, Travel Counsellors managed a net score of +88%. It was closely followed by Trailfinders (+82%) and Haven (+78%), which saw a marked improvement since our last survey. Among the big names, Jet2 and Jet2 Holidays scored well with +75% and +76% respectively, but the strongest big name was Hays Travel, which scored +77%.

As the table shows, there were some big improvements and declines in ratings since we asked the same question in our last survey in July. Top of the drops was Villa Plus, which plummeted 52 percentage points to -69%. Hotels.com and Vueling also saw big drops (both down 18 percentage points on last time). Teletext Holidays moved up 51 percentage points – though it sits at a still-dire -45%. Hoseasons, which reversed its coronavirus refunds policy after complaints to the competition watchdog, moved up 47 percentage points to +10%. 

Travel firms ranked from best to worst for overall experience

Firm No. of responses Net score Change from last survey
1. Travel Counsellors 297 88 +4
2. Trailfinders 466 82 +1
3. Haven 106 78 +24
4. Hays Travel 1,052 77 +13
5. Jet2 Holidays 1,834 76 -3
6. Jet2 2,016 75 -2
7. Disney Holidays 105 67 +15
8. British Airways Holidays 307 63 0
9. Center Parcs 171 62 +9
10. Airbnb 626 60 -9
11. Saga 156 60 +8
12. Easyjet Holidays 266 40 +9
13. Riviera 153 33 +31
14. British Airways 2,299 24 +12
15. Qatar Airways 115 22 +28
16. First Choice 161 22 +16
17. Tui 2,904 21 +42
18. HomeAway 126 18 +1
19. Norwegian Air 148 18 -5
20. Cottages.com 101 18 +40
21. Hoseasons 154 10 +47
22. Brittany Ferries 222 8 +40
23. Booking.com 710 7 +3
24. Easyjet 3,057 7 +46
25. P&O Cruises 509 -1 +30
26. Eurotunnel 119 -4 New result
27. Princess Cruises 108 -5 +28
28. Travel Republic 341 -5 +7
29. Emirates 338 -7 +41
30. Eurostar 145 -14 +10
31. Hotels.com 210 -15 -18
32. Wizz Air 125 -21 +13
33. Netflights 116 -24 +11
34. Aer Lingus 223 -26 +42
35. Air France 135 -26 +43
36. P&O Ferries 109 -30 -6
37. Holiday Extras 186 -31 +34
38. Sykes Cottages 186 -31 +47
39. Expedia 516 -37 -8
40. On the Beach 509 -37 -4
41. Lufthansa 155 -38 +40
42. Teletext Holidays 863 -45 +51
43. KLM 291 -48 +31
44. Secret Escapes 160 -54 +23
45. Virgin Atlantic 771 -57 +30
46. Alpharooms 448 -58 +41
47. Travel Trolley 110 -58 +16
48. Virgin Holidays 656 -58 +29
49. Barrhead 180 -67 +20
50. Loveholidays 1,451 -68 +13
51. Villa Plus 331 -69 -52
52. Vueling 122 -70 -18
53. Air Transat 168 -73 +15
54. Ryanair 3,471 -77 +12
55. STA Travel (1) 110 -79 -1
56. BudgetAir 148 -84 -1
57. TravelUp 356 -86 +3
58. Iglu 757 -88 -15
59. Lastminute.com 900 -92 -15
60. Opodo 508 -94 -1
61. Jetline 264 -95 +3

Net score calculated by subtracting % of respondents who rated their experience as 'poor' from % who rated their experience as 'great'. The % who rated their experience 'OK' is not factored in. The 100-response threshold is why most of the firms included are national brands, rather than smaller, independent companies. The 10 biggest firms in terms of number of responses are in bold. (1) Has now stopped trading.

4.  The travellers who had most trouble are those who booked holidays before the pandemic – if you booked more recently, firms are making it easier to get a refund

We asked survey respondents when they booked their trips that ended up being cancelled, so for the first time were able to compare how travellers who booked prior to the pandemic have been treated compared with those who booked since the start of the pandemic.

Almost nine in 10 respondents (88%) who had their booking cancelled by their travel firm said they booked before March 2020 – when coronavirus was declared a pandemic. The remaining 12% booked between March and November 2020.

Overall 48% of those who booked since March told us they'd so far got a full refund, compared with 51% of those who booked earlier – but of course, they've had longer to chase one. Otherwise those who booked cancelled trips after the start of the pandemic have fared much better:

  • They were more likely to have got a prompt refund. Thirty-three per cent of those who booked since March said they'd been able to get a refund within two weeks, compared with just 19% of those who booked before.

  • They were more likely to have got a refund automatically. Sixty-six per cent of those who booked since March and managed to get a refund said they didn't have to do anything to get their money back, compared with 46% of those who booked pre-pandemic.

  • They were more likely to be happy with the outcome. Of those who booked since March, 75% said they were happy with the resolution they reached, and only 12% unhappy. Of those who booked earlier, 57% said they were happy, 23% said they were unhappy.

5. Customers who got refunds or rebooked were (unsurprisingly) happiest with the outcome

Not all of the respondents in our survey have got a refund or other resolution yet. But of those who have, there's a huge disparity in happiness levels between those who got full refunds or rebooked and those who reached other resolutions.

Of those who were able to rebook a trip, 72% said they were happy with the outcome, while this is true of 69% of those who got a full monetary refund. In contrast, just 7% who got a partial monetary refund were happy.

And unhappiness reigns for those who have had to fight tooth and nail to get a refund, with 57% of those who went via their card firm or travel insurer saying they're unhappy or very unhappy – despite getting money back. This figure was 50% when we last did the survey, suggesting consumers are becoming increasingly tired of having to battle for refunds.

6. 30% who had bookings cancelled have had to make at least three phone calls – some have spent over five hours on the phone

We asked how easy it was to get in touch with travel firms – and had a huge range of responses.

Overall, 30% of those whose firm had cancelled their booking had had to make at least three phone calls chasing a refund or other resolution, while 16% said they'd spent more than two hours on the phone. Six per cent said they'd spent over five hours making calls.

Firms that ranked highly for overall satisfaction were among those who were easiest to contact – for example, 95% of Trailfinders customers and 93% of Travel Counsellors customers said they'd found it easy to get in touch after their booking was cancelled. Among the big firms at the other end, once again Lastminute.com (6%) and Loveholidays (10%) scored poorly, while Villa Plus and Opodo were at the bottom with an abysmal 5% of customers saying they'd found it easy to get in touch.

The 10 firms rated hardest to contact

Firm (& no. of respondents with bookings cancelled by firm) (1) % who found it easy to contact firm (2) % who phoned 3+  times % who spent 2+ hrs on phone % who emailed more than twice
10. Travel Republic (279) 16% 18% 9% 25%
9. BudgetAir (127) 14% 18% 8% 74%
8. Ryanair (2,518) 14% 25% 15% 44%
7. Jetline (223) 14% 73% 36% 92%
6. Virgin Holidays (527) 13% 44% 28% 47%
5. TravelUp (294) 11% 52% 30% 73%
4. Loveholidays (1,197) 10% 31% 19% 51%
3. Lastminute.com (694) 6% 62% 27% 62%
2. Villa Plus (244) 5% 52% 31% 68%
1. Opodo (424) 5% 65% 45% 48%

Firms ranked by % who found it easy to contact them. Firms that are among the 10 biggest in terms of number of responses to our question on overall experience are in bold. (1) A firm was only included if at least 100 respondents had a booking cancelled by it. We set the threshold as 100 here as the main answer is subjective rather than factual. (2) Of those who contacted it.

The 10 firms rated easiest to contact

Firm (& no. of respondents with bookings cancelled by firm) (1) % who found it easy to contact firm (2) % who phoned 3+ times % who spent 2+ hrs on phone % who emailed more than twice
1. Trailfinders (337) 95% 17% 2% 6%
2. Travel Counsellors (198) 93% 14% 3% 9%
3. Hays Travel (774) 90% 14% 4% 12%
4. Saga (130) 88% 12% 4% 6%
5. Airbnb (184) 87% 2% 1% 8%
6. Jet2 Holidays (1,454) 83% 5% 2% 3%
7. Jet2 (1,722) 80% 3% 1% 3%
8. British Airways Holidays (227) 70% 14% 5% 5%
9. Brittany Ferries (114) 59% 18% 6% 31%
10. British Airways (1,761) 58% 28% 12% 13%

Firms ranked by % who found it easy to contact them. Firms that are among the 10 biggest in terms of number of responses to our question on overall experience are in bold. (1) A firm was only included if at least 100 respondents had a booking cancelled by it. We set the threshold as 100 here as the main answer is subjective rather than factual. (2) Of those who contacted it.

7. Those who cancelled bookings themselves were much less likely to get a refund – even if they believed they were owed one

Above, we've focused on those whose bookings were cancelled by the travel firm – as you're far more likely to be owed a refund by the travel firm in those circumstances. Most of the responses we got (68%) related to this scenario. However, we also collected feedback from those who had cancelled a booking themselves – 15% of responses were about this type of case. 

We've always warned that in this scenario you're much less likely to get a refund – which is why it's rarely a good idea to cancel a trip yourself and you should instead wait for your travel firm to cancel. (It's worth noting though that in certain specific circumstances you may be due a refund from the travel firm even if you cancelled – for example, if you book a package holiday and then have to cancel it because a Foreign Office warning is put in place for your destination at the time of your trip.) 

We found only 30% of those who believe they were due a refund after they cancelled their own booking actually got a refund (vs 51% of those whose booking was cancelled by the firm). And only 58% had any kind of resolution (vs 71% where the booking was cancelled by the firm). Fourteen per cent have given up trying to get a resolution altogether (vs fewer than 1% of those whose booking was cancelled by the firm). 

Where a refund was given, it was much less likely to be automatic – only 28% of those who cancelled their own booking got an automatic refund, vs 48% where the firm cancelled.

Despite this, 76% of those who cancelled themselves and have reached a resolution are happy with it (or think it was reasonable) – a similar proportion to those whose booking was cancelled by the firm (78%).

MSE's quick tips to get your money back

The exact process to follow if your booking is cancelled and you want to get your money back will vary depending on the type of booking you have (flight, hotel, package holiday etc).

Before asking for a cash refund, consider if you NEED one. At the moment, many firms are struggling. This means it's safer to demand a refund rather than settle for a voucher, in case the firm collapses before you can use it. But it's also worth considering whether you're in a position to show 'forbearance'.

Having said that, if you're sure you need a cash refund, here are a few tips to follow:

1. Speak to the firm first and use its refund system. Always start this way. Give it a chance – use its systems.

2. If that fails, warn that you'll take it further. If you can speak to the firm and it isn't helping, warn it you'll speak to your card firm (this costs firms – it's cheaper if they do it themselves, so give them the chance).

3. If the firm won't give your money back, ask your card provider. Speak to your card provider to ask it to do a chargeback – where it asks the firm's bank for the money back – though some firms may dispute this later.

If this doesn't work, it's also worth checking if your travel insurer will cover you. Failing that, your final option would be to take the legal route, perhaps through a county court.

Important! To qualify for a refund, it's usually the case that the firm needs to cancel the booking rather than you doing it, as if you cancel, unfortunately there's no guarantee you'll get a refund. Plus, you're unlikely to be covered by travel insurance, providers of which would usually regard you cancelling as a 'disinclination to travel'.

For full cancellation rights and help, see our Coronavirus Travel Rights guide.

What do the firms say?

Many firms received negative feedback in this survey, but we've highlighted a number of big names so asked them for a response, which also likely sets the tone for other firms in a similar position.

  • Lastminute.com did not give us a comment on the survey's findings, despite us asking multiple times. 

  • Teletext Holidays said: "As a travel brand that prides itself on always providing the best value to our customers, we offer a wide range of product options for both flights and hotels.

    "Over 90% of our customers choose to fly with low cost carriers because of the convenience and value they offer. During this pandemic period, we have seen that whilst these airlines provide great value, they have been the worst in refunding our customers' money to us, with some refusing altogether.

    "This has created significant delays in our ability to refund these customers, leading to an extremely stressful 10 months for both our staff and customers. We continue to chase low cost airlines tirelessly for refunds on our customers' behalf in order to rectify this situation."

  • A Ryanair spokesperson said: "Ryanair has issued over €1.5bn in free moves, cash refunds and/or vouchers to the millions of passengers whose flights were cancelled between March and August. All customers between March and August who have requested cash refunds have had them processed.

    "Unfortunately many online travel agents provide Ryanair with fake customer contact and payment details, which resulted in thousands of customers being unable to obtain their flight refunds during the Covid crisis, as many of these unauthorised screen scrapers held their cash for months. To help these customers, Ryanair launched its customer verification process in July. We call on customers to always book directly."

  • A Loveholidays spokesperson said: "Despite the severe challenges caused by Covid-19, we are refunding all hotel and transfer elements of cancelled bookings within 14 days of the cancelled departure date, and from January we will be accelerating these refunds further as we improve our processing process.

    "We appreciate the efforts of those service suppliers who have worked co-operatively with us to help customers in this difficult time. Whilst we've made significant progress, there is clearly more to do, especially on airline refunds, and we urge all parts of the tourism sector to work together to ensure that customers are refunded as quickly as possible.

    "Our priority is to continue our focus on securing flight refunds for our customers. We have so far processed 90% of all airline refunds owed to our customers and are working very hard on behalf of our customers to secure the remaining refunds."

  • A spokesperson for Villa Plus, which had the highest fall in net experience score in this survey compared with our summer survey, said: "Villa Plus would like to apologise for recent delays in processing refunds. Customers awaiting refunds can be reassured processing is now complete for those due to depart in September and we are currently working through refund processing (in departure date order) for those due to depart in October and November.

    "Villa Plus can confirm refund processing for all package holiday customers due a refund will be completed before Christmas."

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