Advice to customers seeking refunds and with forward bookings:
On 17 March the Government advised against all non-essential travel overseas, initially for a period of 30 days. This situation is unprecedented, and ABTA is in urgent talks with the Government to introduce temporary changes to regulations to ensure that customer’s money is protected under the current extraordinary circumstances.
We are asking for support from the travelling public in the following ways:
If your trip has been cancelled because of the change in FCO advice, talk in the first instance to your travel provider to discuss options.
If possible, postpone your holiday or travel arrangements, don’t cancel – this will mean you have a holiday to look forward to in the future, and it will help your travel provider maintain its cash flow through the short-term challenges.
If you are not able to postpone, they may offer you a refund credit voucher instead of a cash refund. ABTA is in urgent talks with the Government to ensure that these credit arrangements have the full cover of financial protection. You should await further guidance on this.
If your travel provider has said they will offer a cash refund, please be patient with them as they process this: they are likely to be dealing with an exceptionally high volume of enquiries.
If you have a travel booking for later in the year, please be patient. The situation is changing rapidly, and travel restrictions are currently only in place until mid-April. You may incur cancellation charges or lose your deposit if you make a hasty decision.
Nobody knows for sure how long the current coronavirus pandemic will last, but we know that we will come out of the other side and we need to ensure that when we do, holidaymakers are still able to book and take their holidays and that there is healthy and competitive travel industry to support them.