ITV News Consumer Editor Chris Choi reports on the two big airlines under investigation for their refund policy
Should you be refunded for a flight you cannot legally take but which does fly? That's the question now being investigated by the UK's top competition watchdog, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). The details of this new inquiry have been widely misunderstood - this is not about flights that were cancelled.
During periods of lockdown, British Airways and Ryanair refused refunds to customers who were lawfully unable to fly: British Airways offered vouchers or rebooking while Ryanair provided the option to rebook.
For many months angry customers have been telling ITV News they feel unfairly treated. They booked flights but were then unable to go on their trips due to local or national lockdown rules. These people were abiding by the law and acting in the best interests of public health yet many were left feeling financially punished by airlines' policies.
The problem is that the law states refunds should be given within seven days when the airline cancels a flight - but this is different, and the law is far less well defined. This is why the CMA action is so important, it should resolve the issue once and for all.
The CMA is “concerned” that, by failing to offer people their money back, both airlines may have breached consumer law. It is now aiming to resolve these concerns.
Listen to the coronavirus podcast