Family scattering grandad’s ashes in Spain lose £4,000 after Ryanair charges

George Sommerville, who died in 2019, asked for his ashes to be scattered in Pineda (Image: Shannon Shaw)

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A grieving woman desperate to scatter her grandad's ashes in his beloved Spain faces eyewatering fees to change her flights after the county was put on the amber travel list.

Shannon Shaw lost her grandad George Sommerville in October 2019, and still hasn't been able to lay him to rest.

Along with seven of her family members, the 41-year-old booked flights from Edinburgh to Pineda – the area her grandfather visited every year with a friend and had asked for his ashes to be scattered.

After their initial flights were cancelled last year, the family rescheduled for the end of June 2021, only for Spain to be stuck on the amber travel list.

Now the Shaw family face paying Ryanair £1,087 to reschedule the £1,300 flights before Thursday, or they'll lose the £2,200 they forked out for accommodation.

"It all makes it very very expensive," Shannon, 41, told The Mirror.

George's ashes have yet to be scattered
(Image: Shannon Shaw)

"What really boils my body is I called Ryanair yesterday and the chap basically said 'I'm not changing it and you're not entitled to it'.

"I sat in this queue for four hours and they cut me off. I found it so disgusting.

"I'm not asking for the money back, but to charge £1,087 (to change the flights) – I appreciate they've been in a difficult position, I really do, but I will never use Ryanair in my life again, it has totally put me off them."

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The Shaw family planned to scatter George's ashes shortly after he died in October 2019.

"Because of Covid our first ashes scattering trip was cancelled," Shannon explained.

The family want to fly out to Spain to say their goodbyes to George
(Image: Shannon Shaw)

"While we were waiting to get refunded from the first trip we booked straight away. We wanted to lay him to rest as soon as possible.

"The eight of us booked together. It was £1,328 for flights and £2,918 for accommodation and transfer."

Because Spain is now on the amber list, Ryanair is charging fees to change flights to and from the country.

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With the deadline to move the date of the accommodation looming this Thursday, the Shaws must decide whether to swallow the rebooking costs, lose the initial flight fee or scrap the trip altogether.

Shannon, who runs a knitwear and pet treats business, said: "We are undecided. We don't know what to do and we're really stuck."

Yesterday George Buzzeo urged the UK government to help out would-be holidaymakers who have lost money during the pandemic.

The family do not know whether to take the Ryanair flights
(Image: AFP via Getty Images)

Like many Brits he found himself out of pocket and without a holiday since coronavirus began to grip the country.

In 2019, the 69-year-old and his wife Lesley, from Newcastle, booked flights to Mijas, Malaga for themselves and their five grandchildren, which they've not been able to take yet.

He now faces waving goodbye to £2,000.

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"It would be nice if Boris (Johnson) decided to look after people like ourselves and gave us 80 per cent of our money back just like the furlough system for the employed," he said.

"To lose £2,000 plus is a lot of money at my stage of life."

Ryanair has been contacted for comment.

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