Are You Having Problems Obtaining A Cash Refund For Your Cancelled Flights Or Package Holidays?

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MUST I TAKE A CREDIT VOUCHER?

Travel companies are entitled to offer alternatives, such as vouchers, to customers for cancelled bookings, but they must also offer the option of a cash refund within 14 days.

How many of you have been offered refund voucher or credit note instead of a cash refund?

If you accept it you could forfeit your rights to a cash refund and it may well be that such credit notes are not financially protected.

AM I ENTITLED TO A CASH REFUND?

Travel companies must also offer the option of a cash refund within 14 days. Increasingly, though, that isn’t happening. Some of the country’s largest package holiday providers are now refusing to pay back cash to customers and issuing vouchers automatically instead.

Travelling to Spain?

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YOUR RIGHTS IF A HOLIDAY OR FLIGHT IS CANCELLED

You are protected by law when booking a package holiday. If the provider cancels your holiday, the package travel regulations mean you are entitled to a refund. Whilst you might be happy with an alternative offered by your travel provider, if you want to be refunded this must be processed by the company within 14 days.

However it is taking months and months to process these refunds blaming the situation on lack of staff and basically trying to wear customers down.

CASE EXAMPLE – SEE HOW WE HELPED DAVID

Booked and paid for holiday to Central Asia to travel in April 2020 through a company I have used many times – the pandemic resulted in cancellation with a promised full monetary refund but after months of waiting and promises I was only offered vouchers with these same or partner companies. I contacted Money Claims Help who proved to be a stalwart supporters in my endeavour to recover my money – to this end after discussing tactics and strategies Money Claims Help proved to be a gold mine of good advice. As the old saying goes ‘the proof of the pudding is in the eating’ and by 2nd week May  after trying in vain myself for months the travel company reimbursed me in full my£2899 without the need to go to court.’

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WHAT ARE MY RIGHTS IF I BOOKED BY A DEBIT OR CREDIT CARD?

CREDIT CARD – Section 75 Protection

As long as the item or service you claim on is between £100 and £30,000 when you have paid for part or all of your holiday by credit card you will be covered by Section 75 Consumer Credit Act 1974 if something goes wrong. This is because the credit card company is jointly responsible with the retailer or supplier and may be able to give you a refund.

However, how many consumers who either booked holidays cancelled through the Coronal Virus either

  1. Are not being offered a full cash refund OR
  2. Are having difficulty obtaining money back from their Credit Card Company while Card Companies a delay or argue about the terms and conditions?

Such arguments range from sending you back to argue with the travel company, argument as to who cancelled and when and if FCO advice was given and one bank stated that it is not paying out as the Covid 19 was an Act of God.

Delays, frustration and more delays – anything not to pay out!

DEBIT CARDS

There is no such protection under Section 75 for holidays paid for through a Debit Card. This comes under a voluntary chargeback scheme whereby Visa Debit Cards and similar may be able to authorise a chargeback of your monies paid but again it is voluntary and depends on the view taken by the bank.

TRAVEL INSURANCE

Again you would think that this is straight forward but again not so. Delays and more delays and arguments about when and by who the travel was cancelled and whether this was after FCO was given.

WHY NOT ACCEPT A VOUCHER?

Your money remains backed by the government’s Atol scheme while you hold a booking – even if the departure date has passed. That means you’ll get your money back if the company goes bust. That’s not necessarily the case if you accept a voucher – which is why  customers are advised not to accept one. For flights, it’s slightly more complicated. As long as the airline is based in the UK or EU, or you are flying from an airport in the UK or EU, you must be offered the choice between being rerouted or refunded if the airline cancels your flight. This applies whatever the reason for the cancellation and however far in advance it occurs. Any refund must be processed within seven days. Find out more about the package travel regulations.

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LATEST INFORMATION ON TRAVELLING TO SPAIN

I am currently holidaying in Mainland Spain, the Canary Islands or Balearic Islands – do I have to quarantine on my return to the UK?

Tourists returning from any part of the country, including the Balearic and Canary Islands, must self-isolate for two weeks when they return to the UK. The decision may force many who have trips booked to cancel their plans as they may not be able to secure two weeks off work when they return from their trip.

Is the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advising against all but essential travel to mainland Spain?

Yes – the Foreign and Commonwealth Office now advises against all but essential travel to mainland Spain.

Is the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advising against travel to the Canary Islands (which include Lanzarote, Tenerife and Gran Canaria) and Balearic Islands? (which include Mallorca, Menorca and Ibiza)

No the FCO is NOT advising against travel to Spain’s Canary Islands or its Balearic Islands.

How does the FCO advice against travel affect my future holiday to Spain and can I obtain a refund?

Some tour operators, like TUI, are already cancelling trips to Spain and will issue refunds. Anybody with a package holiday to mainland Spain should be able to get a refund or a rebooking, due to the FCO advice, However for those who have package trips to the Canary or Balearic Islands, the situation may be become more complicated as there is no FCO warning advising not to travel to the Islands.

What happens if I have booked independently my flights and accommodation rather than a package holiday?

The situation could be more complicated for those who have independently booked flights and accommodation

What happens with work when I return and have to self-isolate?

If you cannot work because you are self-isolating, you should be entitled to statutory sick pay, as temporary Government legislation “deems individuals who are self-isolating as incapable of work for the purposes of Statutory Sick Pay,”

I have an upcoming trip booked to Spain, what should I do?

If you have a package holiday to mainland Spain, your operator should cancel your trip, automatically – if it is affected. They should offer you a refund or the chance to rebook and they should get in touch with you if your trip is cancelled.

Are there any other effects of the FCO advising all but essential travel to mainland Spain?

Due to the FCO advising against all but essential travel to mainland Spain, any package holiday to the mainland, while the warning is in place, should be refunded. Travellers are advised against cancelling their trips, instead they should wait for the operator to cancel it, as it makes the refund process easier.

Does the FCO advice affect my travel insurance if I decide to travel to mainland Spain against FCO advice?

Any travel made against FCO advice will likely invalidate your travel insurance policy so if you suffered illness, loss or damage whilst in mainland Spain you would not be covered for any claim.

Would the FCO advice enable me to claim on my travel insurance to claim back money on flights, accommodation and excursions but you would have to check the terms of insurance policy if you have one?

The FCO warning should also action your travel insurance, which could allow you to get money back on flights, accommodation, excursions and car hire, but you will need to check the terms of your insurance policy, if you have one.

Who else could I look to if I have booked flights and accommodation independently?

You should check with your airline and accommodation provider for refund information. If your flight is not cancelled, then you are not automatically entitled to a refund. ABTA, the UK’s travel trade association – advises customers due to travel to Spain to contact their travel provider.

Travelling to the Canaries or Balearics?  Can I cancel my holiday due to the necessity of having to self isolate on my return to the UK?

Tour operators do not necessarily have to refund trips to the Canary and Balearic Islands, as the FCO is not advising against travel to the islands. Under ABTA rules, the requirement to self-isolate on return from a trip does not affect the ‘delivery of a holiday’. Tour operators do not necessarily have to refund trips to the Canary Islands or Balearic Islands at the moment if the holidays are not cancelled by the travel company, as the FCO is not warning against all but essential travel to the destinations. Some tour operators may cancel trips to the islands regardless, or let you rebook if you do not wish to travel- but they do not have to, under ABTA rules.

When will the restriction be removed? Could it be added to other countries?

Currently, the UK reviews its ‘safe list’ of quarantine-free travel destinations every three weeks. The Government is reportedly looking to implement a new ‘rolling review’ system which could see countries placed on the quarantine list at short notice. But it looks likely, at least, that tourists visiting Spain can expect to be asked to self-isolate on their return for the next month or so. Currently, Greece, Turkey and France are among the countries which are on the safe list. There is a two-week quarantine restriction for those returning from Spain’s neighbour, Portugal.

Disclaimer

There is no legal or travel advice provided via this site, nor any other advice whatsoever. The information featuring on this site is provided solely for your information, and furthermore is free of charge and any decision on your part to obtain or rely on the products on information offered shall be the object of a personal evaluation on the basis of your personal situation, your objectives, the level of risk that you accept and your needs.

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