The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) opened enforcement cases into British Airways and Ryanair over alleged both air carriers' refusal to refund passengers for canceled flights t amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

On June 9, 2021, CMA announced having taken legal action against the two airlines after receiving multiple passenger complaints. Travelers claim that British Airways and Ryanair denied refunds for flights that were canceled during the COVID-19 pandemic. The UK’s watchdog said that the companies may have broken the consumer law when they denied refunds for booked flights leaving the passengers “unfairly out of pocket”.

"Customers booked these flights in good faith and were legally unable to take them due to circumstances entirely outside of their control. We believe these people should have been offered their money back," Andrea Coscelli, the Chief Executive Officer of the CMA was quoted in the authority’s statement.

CMA said that it would seek to resolve concerns with both airlines over allegedly breached consumer law and outlined that both air carriers might be asked to refund or apply “other redress” for the affected travelers.

The investigation was opened in December 2020 following multiple reports that British Airways and Ryanair had offered passengers vouchers or ticket rebooking options instead of returning the money they had paid.