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Ryanair: how to get a refund

We’ve all experienced this, right? You sit at an airport and suddenly there is an announcement that your flight is delayed or even worse, cancelled. Furthermore, quite often airlines send out emails notifying their customers of a very unfortunate event: your flight schedule has been changed completely or, to passenger's despair, your flight has been cancelled!


The famous Irish airline Ryanair operates more than 2000 flights a day, meaning delays and cancellations are bound to happen. The good news is that you may be entitled to a refund and/or compensation if you Ryanair flight is dirupted of if your travel plans change due to serious inconveniences. We’ll take you through the whole process of differentiating when you’re allowed a refund from when you’re entitled to compensation. Lastly, we’ll explain when you can ask for both.


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Cancelled flight refund
Delayed flight refund
Compensation for a Ryanair flight
Claim a refund


When can one request a refund from Ryanair?

You can claim a Ryanair refund if your flight schedule has been changed significantly (departs 1+ hour earlier and arrives 2+ late) and you have not been notified 14 days prior to your departure (however, some restrictions apply). As stipulated in their Terms and Conditions, Ryanair will provide you with a refund if they fail to operate a flight according to schedule or cease to operate a route.


Ryanair refund due to the death of an immediate family member or serious illness

If you were to come across the misfortune of losing an immediate family member within 28 days of the planned flight, the airline will provide you with a full refund if you wish to abandon your flight. Ryanair recognises an immediate family member as a spouse, civil partner, mother, father (including step-parents), mother/father in law, brother, sister (including step-siblings), brother/sister in law, child (including step-child), grandparent or grandchild.


Claim a government tax refund if you did not travel on your Ryanair flight

This will take place if you have not been able to make it to your flight on time and you prefer not to travel anymore. Please note that in such a scenario you are not entitled to a refund of the full fare but only the taxes paid when purchasing your ticket.


In order to request the refund of the government tax added to your unused flight, according to Ryanair, you must apply to be reimbursed within one month of the scheduled travel date. Ryanair has an administrative fee that you must pay if you’d like to receive the refund. Their fee is €20/£17 per passenger. If the refund does not surpass the total of the fee, Ryanair will refuse to fulfil your request.


Reimbursement of any other additional expenses

When at the airport, if your flight is delayed significantly (2+ hours), you are entitled to receive refreshments. The airline is responsible for your care and if you were to incur in expenses whilst waiting for your flight, Ryanair must reimburse you. If your flight is delayed or cancelled, or if you have been denied boarding for that matter, and you have to wait for more than 3 hours, you may also be entitled to compensation. We’ll expand on that later. For now, please remember that if you must stay overnight due to your flight disruption the airline must provide you with hotel accommodations. If you find yourself paying for your lodging, you may claim this costs back from the airline. You can also ask to be reimbursed for all the costs associated with transportation to and from a hotel.


Requesting a refund for a delayed or cancelled Ryanair flight

If your flight is cancelled and you were not notified 14 prior to your departure, you are entitled to a new flight(s) to your final destination or, if you cannot find a flight that suits you when rebooking your flight, you can contact Ryanair and ask for the full refund of your fare. Furthermore, if this happens, you may also be entitled to monetary compensation. Head on to our in-depth guide on when you’re entitled to claim compensation from Ryanair to learn more about the process and your rights.


Here are some criteria that, unfortunately, may exclude you from compensation and refund eligibility when your flight has been cancelled:


  • You were informed about the cancellation at least two weeks before the scheduled time of departure: as long as it's announced at least two weeks in advance, airlines are free to change their flight schedules as they please
  • The cancellation was announced between two weeks and seven days before the scheduled time of departure and your new time of departure isn't more than two hours before the scheduled time and your new time of arrival at your final destination is no more than four hours later than the scheduled time of arrival
  • If the airline informed you fewer than seven days before the scheduled time of departure and your new departure time is no more than one hour before the scheduled time of departure and your new time of arrival is no more than two hours later than the scheduled time of arrival


Finally, when it regards flight delays, Ryanair will have to give you a refund if your flight has been delayed for more than 5 hours and you do not wish to fly anymore. As simple as that. However, if you do not take the flight you won’t be entitled to compensation for your delay.


If you’re unsure if you can claim compensation and/or a refund, you can check your flight for free with our claim calculator. Afterwards, you can decide to submit a claim, under our no win, no fee principle and we’ll claim your compensation for you in no time.


What is the difference between a Ryanair refund and compensation?

A refund is stated by Oxford Dictionary as “the repayment of a sum of money” whereas compensation is “typically money awarded to someone in recognition of loss, suffering, or injury”. These definitions also apply in this instance because you can only receive a refund of what you've paid for your ticket whereas the money received in compensation is supposed to make up for the time you've lost due to a flight disruption.


Ryanair refund

You are given a refund as a repayment, for example, of an unused service or product. In this case, a Ryanair flight. Another moment in which a refund is granted is when you’ve incurred costs because of flight disruptions. However, this is better defined as reimbursement.


Ryanair flight compensation

Compensation is due as indemnification for the time lost if you have suffered from flight disruptions. This is regulated by European law; more specifically, by Regulation EC 261/2004. You are eligible for compensation under certain conditions:


  • The flight route: The European regulations state that, when the flight is operated by a European airline (which is the case for Ryanair), you can claim compensation for flight delays, cancellations or if you’ve been denied boarding
  • Circumstances: In order to claim compensation for a flight delay, cancellation or incident of denied boarding, the disruption must not have been a result of an extraordinary circumstance
  • The deadline for claiming compensation: In the United Kingdom and Ireland, it is possible to claim compensation for up to 6 years after the date of the flight. The timeframe varies depending on the European country
  • The total time of your delay: In most cases, you will be able to claim if you’ve arrived at your final destination with a delay greater than 3 hours. When it comes to cancellations, it's 2 hours


How much compensation can I claim for a delayed, cancelled or overbooked Ryanair flight?

Set by the legislation, the total amount you may receive as compensation is defined by the flight schedule and the distance between the airport of departure and arrival. Connecting flights are taken into account when assessing your situation. In other words, your whole booking is covered by the regulation. Consequently, it’s the distance between your initial airport of departure and your final destination what will determine the total amount of money that you may receive in compensation for your delayed, overbooked or cancelled flight. Connecting flights are covered as long as they have been booked under the same reference. Put differently, if they are part of the same ticket or schedule.


  • For all flights covering a distance of up to 1,500 kilometres, you will receive up to £220
  • For all flights covering a distance between 1,500 kilometres and 3,500 kilometres, you will receive up to £350
  • For flights covering a distance greater than 3,500 kilometres, you are entitled to up to £530



Ryanair compensation amounts


Please remember that if your flight travelled a distance greater than 3,500 kilometres and it was delayed more than 3 hours but fewer than 4, then the total amount of compensation is reduced by 50%. The regulation defines the total amounts in euros and they are €250, €400 and €600.


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In some situations you can claim a refund as well as compensation  

Ryanair refund and compensation

This one is a double whammy and probably the best you could run into! You can claim a refund as well as compensation for a Ryanair flight if your flight was cancelled and you have not flown with the airline because they failed to provide you with an acceptable alternative flight. Some conditions may apply, but don’t despair, our team will ensure that you receive all that you’re entitled to.


Furthermore, if you’ve also incurred in extra expenses due to your disruption, our team will attach your request for reimbursement to your claim for compensation. So always keep an itemised receipt of all additional expenses!


Claim your refund and compensation from Ryanair easily and hassle-free!

Very often, airlines make the process of claiming as complicated as possible in order to simply avoid compensating their passengers. They also overuse the argument that the disruption was caused by an extraordinary circumstance. Therefore, and more often than not, one sees passengers lose hope and accept the airline’s rejection as the truth.


Fortunately, we have the adequate tools and databases to ensure that your rights are enforced and to fact-check the airlines. We will even take them to court when necessary and all of the legal costs will be covered by our 25% win-fee. If you wish so, we can take care of everything and help you enforce your rights!


If you want to maximise the probability of being compensated for your Ryanair flight delay, cancellation or overbooking, you can let a specialised service, like Flight-Delayed, take care of the whole ordeal. We will gladly help you get what is yours, all under our no win, no fee agreement.


Claim rejected by Ryanair? You can still submit a claim with Flight-Delayed

If you’re uncertain if your flight delay or cancellation qualifies for compensation, once you’ve submitted your claim our team of experts will analyse the circumstances and assess your situation. If your claim has already been rejected by Ryanair, you can still submit your claim and our team will verify and fact-check the airline’s arguments. Very often, they assess the situation wrongly and reject perfectly valid claims; so don’t give up that easily and don’t worry, we’re here to help you!


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