The UK competition watchdog has closed its investigation into whether Ryanair and British Airways broke consumer law by failing to offer refunds for flights customers were unable to take during lockdown.
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said customers who could not take flights should be offered full refunds, but the investigation would take too long and be too expensive for the taxpayer to be justified.
In June, the regulator launched the investigation and said the companies may have needed to issue refunds for flights that took place but were not allowed for non-essential travel.
During the pandemic BA offered vouchers or re-bookings, while Ryanair provided the option to rebook on flights that operated but should only have been used for essential travel, the CMA said.
Legally, customers are entitled to a cash refund within 14 days if flights are cancelled but this does not clearly cover when flights take place but customers are legally prohibited from travellng.
The CMA said that after initial analysis it had concluded that the law “does not provide passengers with a sufficiently clear right to a refund in these unusual circumstances to justify continuing with the case”.
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