The UK competition regulator has launched enforcement cases into Ryanair and British Airways after the airlines refused to offer customers refunds for flights they were forbidden by law from taking during the coronavirus pandemic.
The Competition and Markets Authority said on Wednesday it was investigating whether BA and Ryanair had broken competition law, and that it had written to both companies detailing its concerns.
BA offered vouchers or the chance to rebook flights to customers who could not travel during lockdowns, while Ryanair only provided an option to rebook.
“While we understand that airlines have had a tough time during the pandemic, people should not be left unfairly out of pocket for following the law,” said Andrea Coscelli, CMA chief executive.
“Customers booked these flights in good faith and were legally unable to take them due to circumstances entirely outside of their control. We believe these people should have been offered their money back.”
The CMA has looked into various issues during the pandemic including possible profiteering by retailers selling hand sanitiser and package holiday companies that refused to offer customers fair cancellation terms.