Imagine you’d booked a group holiday for this coming October, but one of your group died (touch wood) a month before your flights. Though it would probably be the last thing on your mind, you’d imagine having the airline refund that one person’s ticket would be a pretty easy, standard procedure.
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Well, you’d be wrong, as Doug Parsons found out. He booked a family holiday to the Canary Islands for October but sadly, his 78-year-old mother passed away on June 24. When Doug contacted Ryanair for a refund of his mother’s £200 share of the £1,074 total airfares he had paid, along with her death certificate, this is the reply he got:
Unfortunately, we regret to advise you that in accordance with Ryanair’s General Conditions of Carriage detailed below we cannot refund your booking confirmation RF1SGP — see below extract from our Conditions of Carriage:
In the case of a bereavement of an immediate family member (spouse, civil partner, mother, father, brother, sister, child, grandparent or grandchild) within twenty eight days of intended travel we will, upon application made as soon as reasonably practicable but in any event by the proposed date of travel and accompanied by a copy of the applicable death certificate, make a refund in line with Article 10.2.
Please again accept our sincere condolences.
“This is absolutely not about the money, it’s the principle,” said Doug Parsons. “If they don’t give the refund, I will take the ashes, and take them on all the disability assistance I’d booked for her, and strap the ashes onto the seat, video it all and put it on YouTube.”
It’s amazing how companies like Ryanair can let protocol get in the way of their human sensibilities. Besides that, it’s also incredible how nobody at Ryanair had the foresight to think this would be a bad move publicity-wise. Maybe they thought Doug Parsons would say ‘fair enough, was worth a try’ and accept his losses.
Look for Ryanair to shit themselves once they see the uproar this has caused and offer Parsons all the refund he can handle.