My surgeon faxed Ryanair saying I couldn’t fly but they did not even refund the tax or cost of checking in our bag
I was planning a holiday in Spain and booked two tickets to fly with Ryanair. Subsequently, I was diagnosed with a collapsed lung following the removal of a tumour on my spine, and I was told by the medical team that I should on no account fly.
My surgeon faxed a letter to this effect to Ryanair, which responded saying there was nothing it could do. My partner and I are £283 out of pocket and Ryanair did not even offer to refund the cost of the bag we had paid to check in or the tax. EB, London
Ryanair’s terms and conditions state that “in the event of serious illness or death of a passenger making it impossible to travel, the reservations of the affected passenger and of persons travelling on the same booking reference may be refunded or, as appropriate, modified by our waiving any restriction or fee on changing flights upon suitable documentary evidence produced to us in advance of the date of travel”.
The word “may” is crucial here. Ryanair evidently prefers to rely on its own medical judgment, and in your case it decided that a punctured lung did not even justify postponing your flight without a substantial change fee.
Now, however, it has reconsidered and, while it declines to comment on how it assesses which serious illnesses count and which do not, it has agreed that lungs are a crucial body part and, with prompting from its PR team, has agreed to refund you.
Obviously, if you had travel insurance this may have covered your costs if Ryanair had not coughed up.
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