Holiday refunds: Why Ryanair, TUI, Jet2 and EasyJet aren't paying refunds on coronavirus cancellations - and if they are breaking the law

Airlines and travel companies in the UK have been breaking the law by refusing to issue timely refunds to customers for cancellations during the coronavirus pandemic, new research has found. However, cash refunds are increasingly being refused, with many of the UK’s largest package holiday providers now automatically issuing vouchers instead. The company also said that the refund process is taking considerably longer than normal, meaning customers could be forced to wait months before getting their money back. Virgin is automatically issuing vouchers to customers, redeemable up to 31 July 2020, but insists cash refunds are still available, although requests are taking longer than usual to process. Love Holiday customers cannot request a refund, although credit notes that are unused can be exchanged for cash once they have expired, with the current expiry date being 31 July. British Airways Holidays is offering customers the option to rebook, refund, or accept a voucher to travel at a later date, and said a full refund can be requested at any point up to 12 months after the start date of the journey. If the credit note is not redeemed before its expiry date on 31 December 2020, customers will automatically be given a cash refund. Customers are being contacted by the airline in order of their departure date to discuss their options. British Airways has refused to allow customers to claim a refund online, advising that this should be done over the phone. Customers who booked flights with KLM and Air France that are scheduled to depart before 31 May 2020 are being given three options. If you would prefer a full refund over a voucher or credit note, this must be processed by the company within 14 days and your money remains backed by the government’s Atol scheme while you hold your booking, even if the departure date has passed. This means you will still get your money back even if the company goes bust, which is not necessarily the case if you accept a voucher.