The Coronavirus and how airline companies take the Mickey out of you

Door San Daniel gepubliceerd in Verhalen en Poëzie


I live in Spain. In Andalucia to be precise. I consider myself and I am considered by my friends as an adopted Andalusian son and that gives me a pleasant feeling. It would also be weird if I wouldn't have that feeling after 22 years of Andalucia. I have become a man of the South, a vintner among vintners.

It does complicate matters, of course, I have daughters who live in the Netherlands, one daughter who lives in Belgium and then two daughters who live in Spain. As you can see, I have been blessed in daughters.

In addition, I recently have two grandchildren in the Netherlands, you can say the young heroes are getting old or without noticing you have remained the same, but your status has changed to 'old hip'.

Fortunately, distances are easy to bridge and my children visit me often and happily do so and if I don't see them often enough, according to my taste, I go cripple inside and look them up.



Therefore, I had booked a ticket to visit my daughter in Belgium in mid-March. We were both really looking forward to that. I already had a vision of how I would go out for dinner with my son-in-law and my daughter in some French bistro (she lives in the French part).

Enfin, we are all familiar with the Corona virus, the airspace over Spain was closed and the borders closed and everyone had house arrest, as it were.

Ryanair, wrote me a kind letter that I received via Email. My flight to Charleroi could not be operated and if I appreciated flying at a later date? I did not appreciate that, my farmers' work requires a lot of attention as it gets warmer.



So I clicked that I did not want to use a 'voucher' for another flight, but that I would like to see my paid ticket refunded to my master card. "No problem," was the answer.

I understood the company, planes are on the ground, the lease prices of the aircraft continue unabated and no flights, so as a company you try not to pay back but you offer a voucher. Nothing wrong there right?


My flight date expired and I received an email from Ryanair. "It was a difficult time and many aircraft were grounded and a multitude of people had to have a voucher or a return payment. if I wanted to understand the situation as it could take some time and whether I would not want to contact or make the request again because everything was under control.

Oh well, I am a patient person, so what do you do, no one has any idea how long everything will take and meanwhile it had become sowing and mowing time on the farm and the olive plantation and the vineyard also needed attention.



You actually expect in good faith that the amount will appear on your master card credit again. So, wrong expectation! I had long forgotten all about Ryanair and popped in for a cup of coffee when a melody on my cell phone alerted me to an email.

Ryanair, I had to understand ... (now a month later) had a delay, there were problems caused by the virus and it was all very worrying and whether I wanted a voucher or a 'refund' (money back). If I wanted a refund I had to press the voucher / refund button, which I did.

A new screen appeared. “Everything you need to know about using your voucher” was a huge title above the page.

"I'll read it through," I thought, and hidden somewhere will be a small link to refund.

No not at all!

Book your flight as normal and redeem your voucher in 4 easy steps:

1) Select your destination, dates, and passenger types

2) Enter in the customer names

3) Add your desired travel extras.

4) Enter in your 18 digit voucher number in the payment page and complete booking. The voucher amount will be deducted from the purchase total (flight and / or extras).

I didn't want to travel! I wanted my refund! ..

But then followed a page with a treatise, that I can also use my voucher for hotel bookings (here all hotels are closed) or car rental or or or ... I could also use the voucher as a deposit for a completely different trip. I could transfer the voucher to another. And so on. But not a word about a refund .. or .. anyway.... so it seemed.

As an extra marketing impulse, it was reported that my voucher was valid until April 20, 2021 and then would expire and that if I really wanted a refund that it would only be made payable when the corona virus was over and that is in sharp contrast to the previous emails, where I was asked to be patient with the delay in refund because there were problems caused by the virus.

But let's see if Ryanair still exists in 2021, so I wanted my refund.

Then followed a page with all the blessings and possibilities of the voucher and then at the bottom finally the heading: refund.



Can I receive a cash refund instead of voucher?

You can request a cash refund however bear in mind we will place your request in the cash refund queue until the COVID-19 emergency has passed. We highly recommend using the refund voucher as these are readily available and you can book flights on all Ryanair Group airlines in over 200 destinations in Europe and the Middle East.

And once again it was not recommended to request a return payment and people were advised trips to the Middle East .. Spanish airspace is locked, if I'd want to go to the Middle East, which is absolutely not the case, I simply could not. I just want to visit my daughter in Belgium in due course of time and I will determine that time myself .. so please get me my refund!

This is where the information ends and it is assumed that you want a voucher and then determine the details in due course of time. I didn't want that and I was slowly getting tired of the whole razzemedaz.

I saw a button with Chat Ryanair and pressed it. A ludicrous drawing of a robot appeared, which presents itself as robot chat, "what is your question," said my mechanical listener on behalf of Ryanair.

I entered the reference number and the data of my flight and asked for a refund or that they want to at least register this.

"Your flight has been canceled," our intelligent robotchat wrote back. Yes I was aware of that fact.. but there came an extra bleep. "Was the answer helpful," the robot chat wanted to know? I could answer yes or no and so I pressed no.



"That is a pity," answered robot chat, "may I point out other questions," and I got to see a limited number of issues about upgrading and bookings. "

At Ryanair, reality is very different from the first mail to the later contacts.

I wouldn't write on Tallsay if I would be caught out so quickly. So I went to Facebook and searched for the Ryanair site, became their friend, (like) and could chat with them which I did.

I could see it was received and read. What a crappy way to deal with customers, I must say. In the meantime, I no longer care if I see the money back or not ... it is too little to denounce but it shows me what the business ethics or the lack thereof are with these companies.

San Daniel April 20, 2020



20/04/2020 22:33

Reacties (3) 

04/05/2020 20:46
You are a very patient person, i guess we all will need patience these days. Many people experience the same, i'm thinking of the many peoples in care homes which are not allowed to have contact with family. Wish you the best.
21/04/2020 21:45
Oh wat a crappy experience for you. Hopefully the money appears tomorrow !
24/04/2020 20:07
That would be nice .. but I have my doubts
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