Ryanair angers customers with ‘last chance’ Christmas flight sale

Ryanair raised eyebrows by sending out a promotional email advertising a “last chance” flight sale, encouraging customers to fly “home for Christmas” – just one day after the Prime Minister announced new restrictions for the festive season.

The email, which also proclaimed that lockdown was “lifted”, was sent out on 20 December following Boris Johnson’s press conference in which London and much of the east and southeast of England was plunged into Tier 4.

The new tier’s rules are near-identical to those of November’s national lockdown, except that tier 4 residents are banned from leisure travel abroad.

Residents were also delivered the extra blow of being told they could not mix households at all over Christmas.

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Those in the lower tiers were also told that the easing of restrictions from 23-27 December, allowing up to three households to mix, would no longer go ahead. Christmas “bubbles” can instead only be formed on Christmas Day itself.

The timing of the advert was also unfortunate in that it was followed, just hours later, by the first countries issuing temporary travel bans on arrivals from the UK in response to the identification of a new, more transmissible, variant of coronavirus.

Sharing the ad on social media, one customer said: “I just received this promotional email from Ryanair. What planet are they on?“

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Another wrote: “Can I please have some of whatever Ryanair is smoking, sending this to me this morning? You misspelled ‘lifted’ – it’s ‘Moved from Tier 3 to Tier 4’.”

One social media user accused the airline of “screwing passengers”, writing “Lockdown lifted? Fell for this with a flight to Cyprus in April when they said the same thing and lost £135 and no response to my emails.”

Since 20 December, more than 50 countries have suspended flights from the UK and/or closed their borders to UK arrivals.

The Independent has contacted Ryanair for comment.

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