Ryanair will let you change your flight dates for free - here’s how

Monday, 16th March 2020, 12:41 pm
Updated Monday, 16th March 2020, 3:37 pm
The global outbreak of coronavirus is causing many flights and holidays to be cancelled (Photo: Shutterstock)
The global outbreak of coronavirus is causing many flights and holidays to be cancelled (Photo: Shutterstock)

The global outbreak of coronavirus is causing many flights and holidays to be cancelled.

But Ryanair is allowing customers to change flights for free, waiving fees on a temporary basis in order to give more flexibility to passengers.

Waiving fees

Ryanair has recently announced that it will temporarily waive its fees for passengers who wish to change their flights amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Fees and charges are normally applied to changes made outside of the 24 hour grace period. Charges apply to changes, which are calculated per one way flight per person, and vary from season to season.

Fees usually begin at €35 (around £32), and vary depending on the route and travel dates selected. Higher flight change fees apply on all flights on the following routes - International Canary Islands (excluding Spanish domestic) and all international Greek routes.

However, the airline has decided to let passengers rebook flights free of charge, due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

These are the symptoms of coronavirus (Photo WHO)

When is this policy in place until?

The new rebooking policy is in place for flights until Tuesday 31 March 2020, and will apply to both existing bookings and new bookings made before that date.

However, if the new flight costs more than the original booking, customers will still need to pay the fare difference.

British Airways and Virgin Atlantic have also waived change fees for holidaymakers during the ongoing pandemic.

Ryanair recently took to Twitter to explain its decision to waive change fees, saying, "From today (13 Mar) until Tue 31 Mar, Ryanair will waive the flight change fee for customers who wish to change their travel plans due to the current Covid-19 outbreak. This policy applies to all existing and new bookings.

"While customers will still need to pay the difference in fare when changing a flight, we believe removing the change fee will provide more flexibility.

"This does not apply to customers affected by flight cancellations as they are entitled to a refund or a free move onto an alternative Ryanair flight.”

Flight cancellations

If the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) changes its advice and restricts travel to a destination, which then results in your flight being cancelled, change fees do not apply in this situation.

If your flight is cancelled, then you are entitled to either:

a full refunda free replacement flight to your final destinationa free replacement flight at a later date (for example, once the travel restrictions have been lifted)

Coronavirus: the facts

What is coronavirus?COVID-19 is a respiratory illness that can affect lungs and airways. It is caused by a virus called coronavirus.

What caused coronavirus?The outbreak started in Wuhan in China in December 2019 and it is thought that the virus, like others of its kind, has come from animals.

How is it spread?

As this is such a new illness, experts still aren’t sure how it is spread. But.similar viruses are spread in cough droplets. Therefore covering your nose and mouth when sneezing and coughing, and disposing of used tissues straight away is advised. Viruses like coronavirus cannot live outside the body for very long.

What are the symptoms?

The NHS states that the symptoms are: a dry cough, high temperature and shortness of breath - but these symptoms do not necessarily mean you have the illness. Look out for flu-like symptoms, such as aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose and a sore throat. It’s important to remember that some people may become infected but won’t develop any symptoms or feel unwell.

What precautions can be taken?

Washing your hands with soap and water thoroughly. The NHS also advises to cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze; put used tissues in the bin immediately and try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell. Also avoiding touching eyes, nose and mouth unless your hands are clean.

Government advice

As of the 12 March the Government has moved into the "delay" phase of its plan to tackle coronavirus. Advice is that anyone with a continuous cough or high temperature should self-isolate for seven days. People over 70 have been advised not to go on cruises and schools advised to cancel trips abroad, though schools remain open.

Should I avoid public places?

Most people who feel well can continue to go to work, school and public places and should only stay at home and self isolate if advised by a medical professional or the coronavirus service.

What should I do if I feel unwell?

Don’t go to your GP but instead call NHS 111 or look online at the coronavirus service that can tell you if you need medical help and what to do next.

When to call NHS 111

NHS 111 should be used if you feel unwell with coronavirus symptoms, have been in a country with a high risk of coronavirus in the last 14 days or if you have been in close contact with someone with the virus.

Sources: World Health Organisation and NHS