Martin Lewis, 48, regularly offers help to Britons over money matters. Today, the Money Saving Expert appeared on his eponymous ITV programme The Martin Lewis Money Show – the last instalment of the series. Lewis offered words of wisdom to UK travellers in need of a refund from easyJet, Ryanair and other travel brands after holiday plans went awry due to the coronavirus crisis.
The expert revealed he’d received many complaints regarding Ryanair refunds during the pandemic.
However, the airline has confirmed it is taking action to make sure customers do get their money back.
“Ryanair says it will clear it 90 percent of its refund backlog by July 31,” explained Lewis.
So when should Britons in need of a refund take action?
Martin Lewis offered words of wisdom to UK travellers in need of a refund
Martin Lewis: “I’ve heard that people are getting paid now, so it is starting to happen”
Lewis advised Ryanair customers would be better off waiting to “get militant.”
“This has been a big stress for many people,” he told ITV viewers, “so you could, if it’s too stressful for you, just simply say, you know what, I’m going to leave it and see if I get my refund by the end of July.
“I’ve heard that people are getting paid now, so it is starting to happen – hopefully, it’ll deliver on its promise.
“If not, you could get militant now, but if I were you, I’d see if it delivers, and then get militant in August if you haven’t got your money then.”
In other instances, it’s worth taking action sooner.
One caller rang in to the show to say her Barcelona outbound flight in two weeks time had been cancelled been the inbound had not.
Lewis explained that anyone in this instance would be due a total refund.
“You clearly can’t go on the flight without the outbound,” he said, “but under EU regulation 261/2004, if you have a booking that is effectively a return, as yours clearly is, and the outbound is cancelled, you are due a full refund.
“Actually you’re due a full refund on both the flights.”
Martin Lewis: The Money Saving Expert recommends getting in touch with the airline
If this has happened to you, the Money Saving Expert recommends getting in touch with the airlines and requesting the refund.
Should the carrier dispute the claim there are ways to escalate it.
“If easyJet refuses or doesn’t pay, then you can take it to the alternative dispute resolution process that EasyJet does have and most airlines have,” Lewis told the caller.
“So you complain first to easyJet, if no it will tell you about its ADR system, and then you go on and that should adjudicate in your favour.”
He added: “The EU regulations are clear, a return flight outbound cancelled – you get the refund for both.”
Martin Lewis also cautioned that some people risk not getting their money back
Lewis also cautioned that some people risk not getting their money back at all when it comes to holiday refunds.
This is particularly the case for when a holiday destination goes into local lockdown during these uncertain times.
“If you’re going to book a holiday, you’re not going to be covered if your area goes in local lockdown and you can’t travel,” he cautioned.
However, if you booked the holiday and bought travel insurance before the pandemic then that should cover you.
Holidaymakers who chose to risk it and travel anyway, regardless of the Government advice, will invalidate their insurance which could cause major issues if a problem arises during their holiday.