• Passenger told flights from Manchester to Alicante-Elche new fare £99. Ryanair website as a new customer, same flight £52
  • Dublin to Malaga flights hiked by as much as £80

By Andrew Atkinson

WITH the coronavirus epidemic outbreak hitting Spain hard – that has led to Alicante-Elche airport closed to commercial flights – some airlines have been flagged up for ripping off passengers.

Dublin-based Ryanair, a major airline player at Alicante-Elche  airport, waived its change fees, with passengers still having to pay the difference, if the new fare is higher.

Which? Magazine reports the airline has been hiking the cost of those replacement flights – by as much as £80.

The consumer group said that when one passenger tried to move their Dublin to Málaga flight to August, they were quoted €137 (or £128) a passenger.

When the said passenger checked the Ryanair website for the price of a new ticket on the same plane, it was €49.

A passenger trying to move flights from Manchester to Alicante-Elche was told the new fare was £99. When they went on the Ryanair website as a new customer, they found the same flight for £52.

The Guardian newspaper reported they found that Ryanair priced every flight at €135.99 from Dublin to London, Luton, over an entire year when the flight change portal was used.

However, the same flights were reportedly available for as little as €17.99 when a new booking was made.

Ryanair has failed to respond to requests for comment.

Meanwhile, rival low-cost carrier Wizz Air is still charging €30-€40 a passenger to rebook on flights to Hungary and Bulgaria, or €60 per passenger, per flight to cancel, despite the fact that both countries have closed their borders.

Earlier this month the Foreign Office banned all but essential international travel from the UK but, despite cancelled flights, some airlines have made it almost impossible to get a refund.

However, all flights on EU carriers within, or into the EU, and all flights leaving from an EU airport, are protected by the EU’s ‘denied boarding’ rules, which require refunds or re-routing when flights are cancelled.