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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Ruby Flanagan

Ryanair passenger wins £400 after airline refused to give him refund during Covid

A Ryanair passenger has been awarded £400 after arguing that Government travel advice during the Covid-19 pandemic prevented him from getting his flight.

Nick Blades, 65, from Woolaston in Gloucestershire took the discount airline to the small claims court after it refused to give him a refund for a flight he was unable to take.

First reported on the Money Saving Expert (MSE) website, Nick had booked a flight from Bristol to Malaga for July 2020.

Nick did not take the flight as at the time as advice from the UK Government and the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) was to avoid "non-essential travel".

Nick made a complaint to the budget airline but was initially refused. He escalated his complaint further but was refused again.

Have you successfully taken a company to the small claims court? Let us know:

At the time, advice from the UK Government and the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) was to avoid "non-essential travel" (Bloomberg via Getty Images)

According to MSE, Ryanair argued that Nick could not be refunded as the flight had not been officially cancelled.

The 65-year-old decided to take the case to the Gloucester and Cheltenham County Court in August 2021 and skipped any chargeback or other external complaint route.

After filing the court proceedings, Nick received a letter from Ryanair solicitors offering him a travel voucher worth £339.36 however Nick refused this offer as he wanted a cash payment.

After hearing the case, the small claims court ruled in Nick's favour and he was awarded £429, which included the price of his flight and the £90 in court fees.

The MSE website said even though the case was not "legally binding - so it doesn't set a legal precedent" it could be used as an example of case law when bringing similar complaints to court.

How the small claims court works

Going to the small claims court should be a last resort and only after you've tried to resolve your complaint directly with a company.

There are fees involved when going to the courts, starting at £35 and rising up to £455, depending on how much you’re trying to claim.

But if you win your case, you should also win back these costs.

If you don't win, you could end up paying legal fees for the other side - so be sure you have a good case on your hands first before going ahead with an application.

You’ll need to be trying to win back £10,000 or less to open a case through the small claims court in England and Wales, or under £5,000 in Scotland or £3,000 in Northern Ireland.

Another alternative is to try and claim money back through your bank - but Ryanair has previously barred people from flying with it again when they're gone down this route.

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