Paid for flights with Monzo

I think people are being harsh here. Personal judgements should be separate to how much the law and companies should operate.

Even if the flights were booked on July 26th it shouldn’t matter. They were flights operating between countries with no rules attached.

Once the government changed the rules, the airline should have either cancelled the flight or offered a refund. Airlines are equally “taking a risk” by operating flights during the pandemic.

Personally, would I have booked the flights? No. However I can see what’s fair and what’s no fair here and frankly airlines continuing to fly to places the FCO say not to is morally dubious because they know that the customers will then bear the brunt of the costs and not them.

It’s been fairly long standing that once government advises against travel to countries then flights (for the most part) cease. This should be no different.

The only fact here is the FCO advises against all essential travel to the whole of Spain on this flight date.
Ryanair aren’t the best airline to follow rules.

Technically you weren’t allowed to travel.
Ryanair should look into this for you.
If you can demonstrate it was not essential they should refund you.
It won’t be easy and Ryanair even when wrong aren’t going to back down easily.

Use a credit card in future as this gives you section 75 protection which would provide a refund for you. Monzo can only try a chargeback.


I’m not a fan of Ryanair, but they fulfilled their part of the contract here. It’s legal to fly to Spain, though inadvisable. I think it’s the insurance company who hold the liability in these cases.

Ryanair indeed have the full legality to fly.

I question the morals of a company that continued those flights knowing full well the customer would bear the brunt. Other companies have gone ahead and cancelled the flights.

The FCO are very clear do not travel.

If you go against FCO advice then
Potentially no travel insurance - most are invalid at this point
Potentially no consular / embassy support either - if you lost your passport.

These aren’t rules to be breaking.

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You’re wrong. The FCO advise against all but essential travel. It is still possible to fly to Spain, and airlines shouldn’t stop flying – what if a citizen of that country needs to return home? They wouldn’t need travel insurance. A UK citizen might decide their trip is essential.

A UK holidaymaker shoulders some of the risk here, and if a flight actually departs then it is the choice of the passenger whether or not to take it, using the advice from the FCO.


Why? The government changed their advice, the booking was done when it was fine to go. Travelling now will invalidate any insurance.

In any other situation this wouldn’t even be up for debate - people would be outraged if they were unable to fly due to government advising not to (and not wanting to fly without insurance) particularly due to health and safety reasons, and Ryanair (of all companies here!!) blatantly said “tough” and people lost money.

I wouldn’t have travelled, no. But I do believe that morals and ethics should dictate things here. It seems that in this situation a person is damned either way. I just find this exhausting that people are clearly just pushing their own judgements onto people who have chosen to go abroad at this time (to countries that were on the safe list) rather than having some actual compassion.

Although this doesn’t apply to OP because they booked last year, but:

We can’t expect the government to be a nanny state and hold everyone’s hands. When FCO lifts their advice against travel doesn’t mean “go and fly because it’s 100% safe” it just means it might be ok now, but common sense is needed. If you know there is a global pandemic, don’t book then point at the government saying “They said it’s ok”

Also, FCO advises against travel and doesn’t forbid it. As such, if Ryanair chooses to fly, it’s up to passengers to decide if they take the advice or fly sadly


I hadn’t clocked that.

In a situation such as this it’s very much a “Claim on your travel insurance. That’s why you bought travel insurance. You did buy travel insurance, didn’t you?” scenario.

That’s just standard operating procedure when you buy a holiday a year in advance. This situation is literally why travel insurance exists. It costs a couple of quid.

I’m not being harsh, but it’s not the airline’s problem (neither is it Monzo’s) if the flight departed on schedule, which is independent of the FCO advice.

As do I. Every single time they are in the news, but it doesn’t alter the fact that (IMO) they aren’t legally liable in the OP’s case.

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I don’t disagree that travel would be unwise, as I said in my post.

The FCO advise against all but essential travel, and the advice is aimed at British citizens visiting Spain. It isn’t aimed at Spanish citizens (for example) going home to Spain. Which it is why it is perfectly legal for Ryanair to fly to Spain.

Also cf. Ryanair.

You get what you pay for. You can’t seriously expect to pay so little for a flight and then complain when Ryanair continues to fly (when it allowed to do so) in order to minimise its liabilities. That’s Ryanair’s model. We all know it, and those who use Ryanair are complicit with it.

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Two anecdotes

I had friends who went on a weekend trip to Poland with Ryanair. The plane for the return journey developed a fault before takeoff. Ryanair’s response was to refund the fares. But there were no flights available for them to get home in time for work, so their only option was to hire a car, drive to Germany, and get a flight from there.

Same thing happened to me with easyJet in Spain. EasyJet disembarked us, gave us food vouchers, and flew another plane and crew from the U.K. to pick us up. We were very late arriving, by not out of pocket.

In addition, let’s not forget that Ryanair is a scheduled airline. It is not a package holiday like Jet2 or Tui. Lets stop looking at it from an English holidaymaker point of view. Until March I regularly flew between Spain and the UK. At least a third of the people on every flight were Spanish. They don’t need travel insurance to be in Spain once the plane lands. For someone to say that morally that Ryanair should not be flying is crazy and IMO shows an ‘England is the centre of the universe’ point of view.


If you’re referring to me then I don’t care if Ryanair fly. They are legally allowed to.

I still, and I have not been convinced otherwise so far, think it’s morally objectionable for them to not refund (or at least allow vouchers for future travel) for a UK citizen booked on that flight once government advice changes.

I’ve never said this wasn’t legal, but I will hold a company to some degree of morals, even if it’s ‘expected’ of them. This is literally one of the reasons I moved away from mainstream banks…

Do you feel Monzo should do the moral thing here?

Quite a chance of stance there. Yes, I agree, it would be good if they refunded or provided vouchers. But you quite clearly said you question their morals because they continued to fly, before backtracking somewhat :+1:

Fair point. I didn’t mean it to that extent, since whether they fly or not I don’t care, though arguably plenty of companies have cancelled the flights if they know they are full of British travellers.

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A holiday is not essential?
Travel advice is for this people who are UK nationals.

I think you totally missed my point!

A UK only passport holder isn’t allowed technically to travel against FCO advice. To do so you could be on your own - no support of any was needed.

Airline goes bust or stops flying - technically you could be left stranded.

Exactly the OP is talking about a ‘holiday’ not returning home.

FCO guidance is for UK nationals to follow.

I’d be interested on what the actual legal position of this is as it seems many posters here seem to think it’s tough the FCO has given guidance and Ryanair still fly - which whilst is legal - Brits going on holiday is not.