After Matt Hancock said that it’s unlikely people will be in a position to take holidays abroad this summer, Nick Harris, Head of Travel looks at whether you can get your money back from your package holiday provider.
What if My Package Holiday’s Been Cancelled?
If your holiday has been cancelled, the law says you have the right to a refund within two weeks of the cancellation.
But, because of Coronavirus, many holiday companies are saying they can’t process refunds in this time because so many of their staff have been furloughed and because of the number of people wanting refunds.
Instead, some are offering vouchers for the value of the holiday or sometimes more so you can book a holiday once lockdown has been lifted and are only offering a refund if you call them to request one.
There are many reasons why you may not want to accept a voucher instead of a full refund.
Your financial situation may have changed and you may need the money back because you’ve been furloughed or lost your income because of Coronavirus.
It’s not absolutely clear if these vouchers are covered by the ATOL and ABTA schemes, which protect you if your tour operator stops trading. If you accept a voucher now and the holiday company you’ve booked with goes bust, do you have any protection?
These factors may have an impact on whether or not you want to accept a voucher or not, but you do have other ways to try and get your money back.
If you booked your package holiday with your credit card, you could ask for a chargeback. A chargeback is where your credit card company asks for the money back from the travel company’s bank. This shouldn’t be difficult if the holiday has been cancelled.
If a chargeback can’t be done, you could ask to make a claim under ‘Section 75’. This is where you ask the credit card company to cover you for an amount of over £100 but under £30,000. This may not be as straightforward as a chargeback, but is another option.
You should remember that you have a right to a refund by law. You may need to be very persistent to actually get one though.