A woman from Derbyshire is embroiled in an ongoing battle with Ryanair as she tries to get a refund for holidays booked by her late father.
Cheryl Hallam, 38, from Alfreton, says the airline owes her and her father’s friends around Â£ 3,500 in bookings.
In early 2020, his father Paul Morley booked a vacation in Tenerife for himself, a friend and his grandchildren planned for Christmas and New Years, as well as another trip to Spain with a friend in April.
But he sadly passed away in October 2020 from Covid-19, at just 62 years old.
The trips were canceled due to the travel ban caused by the coronavirus pandemic and, as Mr Morley’s close relative, it was Cheryl’s responsibility to seek a refund from Ryanair.
She criticized the way the airline handled the situation, saying she was being sent in circles during an extremely difficult time in her life.
Ms Hallam said: “Everyone tried to get their money back, but Ryanair didn’t want to deal with them because they hadn’t made the reservation so they will only talk to me as their girl.
“But, they keep asking me questions that I don’t know the answer to, and my dad isn’t here to answer them.”
“Every time I make contact I’m dealing with a different person, so I have to keep starting over – I feel like I can’t move forward properly.”
She also said that while dealing with the company, she was repeatedly forced to access her father’s personal laptop, which she described as “heartbreaking.”
She said: âMy dad has always been my best friend, I’m almost 40 and he’s been most of my life.
âIt’s so hard to get back to his laptop, it’s private for him and I shouldn’t have to go.
“It was heartbreaking, considering what I was going through, having to go back to get an answer.”
Ms Hallam says Ryanair told her the money was refunded to her father’s bank account, despite the account being closed before the refund. She claims to have received letters from the bank proving this to be true.
After about six months of back and forth, she says Ryanair has been silent and is now reluctant to respond.
Ms Hallam, who herself owns a beauty school in Kirkby in Ashfield, even resorted to an email to Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary but said she has not received a response.
This struggle to get the money back, both for her father and her friends, has taken its toll on Ms Hallam, who says she just wants to get out of this incredibly difficult time.
âNormally you go through this grieving process, you have the funeral and then it’s your personal time to try to get over it.
“But I keep coming back to it and I can’t go back to normal.”
The constant calls to the company have also caused it to rack up big phone bills, as Ryanair charges 12p per minute over the phone.
Derbyshire Live has repeatedly contacted Ryanair for a response but has not received any response at the time of writing.