Ryanair has a pretty standard refund policy as far as airlines go, but that might actually be news to some people. The airline has actually recently made some changes to its policy due to criticism it faced in 2020. This has left many people wondering where it currently stands.
Can You Refund a Ryanair Ticket?
The answer is no, you mostly cannot refund a flight ticket on a Ryanair flight. You can only cancel a flight under certain conditions.
Those conditions have become easier to understand recently. The main condition you need to know is that you cannot get a refund on a flight unless it gets delayed for more than five hours.
That makes sense when you think about it. A flight that is delayed for more than five hours is more of an inconvenience than a convenience, so it would be faster to cancel the flight and book a new one than wait for the flight to sort itself out, board, launch, and fly.
The other circumstance where you can cancel your flight is when you have lost a family member. The family members that Ryanair considers “family members” are parents, children, siblings, grandparents, grandchildren, spouses, and in-laws of all of these except grandparents.
If you lose any of these family members and it causes you to change your plans, then you can contact Ryanair customer service with your reservation number, your relationship to the deceased, a document proving their death, and the names of the people that need a refund.
That is the only situation where you a guaranteed a refund on a Ryanair ticket.
Ryanair Cancelation Policy
Ryanair states that their flights are changeable but you are unable to cancel them. Customers don’t need to notify the airline if they can’t make a flight and return flights can still be used even if the outbound flight wasn’t used.
You can cancel a flight for a full refund if you cancel it more than five days in advance of the flight. But this is a new rule, and their customer service representatives are taught to act like it does not exist unless you bring it up to them specifically.
This might sound illegal, and in some cases it is. But it is also notoriously hard to regulate the practice.
If a business writes down that they have to give this refund, but verbally tells their employees to act like it does not exist, then the illegal policy is never on paper.
As a result, you can only “catch” them if they say the five-day refund rule does not exist when it does, which they are expressly trained to not do.
It is a complicated dance they are dancing.
Can You Refund a Ryanair Ticket After the Flight?
No, you cannot ever refund a Ryanair ticket after the flight. Most of the time an airline refund tickets after flights, they do it because someone was dissatisfied with their flight experience.
You can probably imagine the kind of situation where this comes up. Someone had a kid kicking the back of their seat, a rude flight attendant, a power outlet that did not work, or some such other nonsense that made their flight essentially a waking nightmare for the duration of it.
Some airlines (not all, but some) will give refunds to customers who voice their displeasure loud enough.
The economics here is that by giving the refund, the airline promises themselves a returning customer. This is not the practice all airlines go for though, particularly Ryanair.
Can You Change Your Flight with Ryanair?
Yes, you can change your flight with Ryanair up to two and a half hours before your scheduled boarding time. You cannot change your destination though, only your flight time.
How do You Change Your Flight Time?
To change your flight time with Ryanair you need to provide your name and record locator to a customer service agent. This can be done at either the airport itself or over the phone. You do not need to know what flight time you are changing to beforehand either.
The customer service agents will provide you with additional flight times. Further, you can even reschedule your flight using Ryanair’s website. It is just like buying a ticket there.
Can You Return Items Bought Inflight?
There are two kinds of items that you can buy inflight with Ryanair. The first and most common one is inflight food and beverages. These are completely non-refundable purchases, so no, you cannot get refunds on them. The second kind is purchases made from inflight brochures.
You might be surprised to hear that these still exist, but if you made a purchase from one that you regret for any reason, you might end up wondering why they still exist. Whatever their reason for existing is, Ryanair cannot refund you for those purchases.
That does not necessarily mean they are non-refundable though. It just means that you would have to talk to the seller of the item rather than the airline that seller used to sell it.
Are Ryanair’s Refund Policies Strict?
Yes, Ryanair has some of the most strict refund policies in all of air travel. You cannot cancel your flight even if you booked well in advance. You cannot cancel it if you are sick, if your plans change, if your dog dies, none of that.
There are only so many ways one can say “No”, and Ryanair says all of them. They got into trouble with this, which is why their policy changed to include the possibility of five day refunds. Back in 2020, their no refund policy was making it hard for them to deal with the pandemic.
This small change was not enough to make a meaningful effect, but it did get people to criticize them less for an otherwise unreasonable and inflexible business practice.
What If My Flight is Canceled?
If your flight is canceled by the company, you are entitled to a full refund. For canceled flights, Ryanair automatically distributes vouchers, but you may also seek a cash refund by following the process on the company’s website.
You have two options:
- Apply for a full refund
- Change your flight to a different date
Do Ryanair have a Grace Period?
Yes, customers who have booked flights Ryanair’s website can avail of a 24-hour grace period from the time of initial booking to fix any minor inaccuracies (dates/times) free of charge.
Ryanair is known as a “no refunds” airline, and not without reason. You can only get a refund on their flight tickets if you lost a family member or cancel five days in advance. You can change your flight time, but not within two and a half hours of your boarding time.
This also means that you cannot reschedule your flight if you miss it. So, be very careful when doing any flying with Ryanair, as they have incredibly strict rules.