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Are you due a holiday refund?

The travel industry is calling for the Government to amend refund rules to help firms survive.

A trade association wants companies to be allowed to offer credit notes as a short-term measure.

Travel firms will collapse and taxpayers will be left with a multibillion-pound bill unless UK refund rules are amended, a trade association has claimed.

ABTA wants the Government to allow companies to offer credit notes as a “short-term alternative” to cash refunds because of the deluge of claims caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Under EU law, travel companies must refund customers within 14 days if their holiday is cancelled.

But many travel firms will be unable to survive if they are forced to pay cash refunds immediately, according to ABTA.

This is partly due to a delay in them receiving money back from airlines and hotels.

Countries such as France, Italy, Belgium, Spain, Germany, the Netherlands and Denmark have amended their refund rules on a temporary basis, and ABTA says the UK must also take action.

Refund credit notes could be exchanged for an alternative booking or a full cash refund at a later date.

They would be financially protected, ensuring consumers’ money would be secure.

ABTA warned that if the UK does not change its policy, firms will be pushed into bankruptcy, leaving the Government, which acts as the financial backer for the UK’s main ATOL scheme of holiday protection, with a bill of up to £4.5 billion to refund customers.

Mark Tanzer, ABTA chief executive, said: “We know the Government has a lot to manage with the current crisis, but its failure to make these temporary changes to refund rules defies logic and is leaving the consumer in no-man’s land.

“The rules around 14-day refunds were never designed for the mass cancellation of holidays, which we’re now seeing as result of Government measures to contain the pandemic.

“It’s in nobody’s interests for normally healthy, viable businesses to be pushed into bankruptcy.

“Hundreds of thousands of jobs are at risk and the UK taxpayer will have to foot the bill for customer refunds if there is an industry-wide collapse of travel businesses.

“It’s important to reiterate, this is about supporting businesses through an entirely unforeseeable and short-term cashflow crunch – customers will not lose their right to a refund, and their money is not at risk.”

A senior figure in the travel industry Kane Pirie who was on the board of ABTA believes that travel companies should be refunding customers with cash and not with credit notes.

He said in an interview with the Independant newspaper “A lot of travel companies are really short of cash. I get that. But a lot of customers are really short of cash as well. And they want their money back. It’s a disgrace that parts of the industry are thinking now is the time to tell customers, ‘No, I know you’ve got a legal entitlement to this money but I’m not going to give it to you’.

Kaine Pirie has started a campaign called ‘It’s Right to Refund’.

What are your views? Have you had holiday plans cancelled due to the pandemic? Have you received a cash refund or credit note? What would you see as a fair resolution for your personal circumstance?

Are you due a holiday refund?

1095 people have already voted, what's your opinion? Yes No

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swaneldo
10th May 2020
0
Thanks for voting!
... or should I say I was told I was due a refund before the virus kicked in as I qualified for this (nothing to do with the virus).
Curiously, Kent & Sussex Cottages have changed their policy to suit themselves and now I will not be getting a refund. There are some shabby and despicable practices going on at present and some companies are taking full advantage of the situation, which is shameful. I certainly won't be using these companies again and I hope everyone else remembers how customer service (yes I'm laughing too!) was conducted during this crisis. Those running these companies will no doubt be sitting on some sifted away funds (or refunds as we like to call them!) when this is over whilst having got rid of their loyal staff and customers.
jeaniembe
29th Apr 2020
0
Thanks for voting!
I had two foreign holidays booked and one UK break. As soon as government advice on travelling etc came in I cancelled the two foreign breaks. I did lose the deposits but had my money withing days. I felt if I had waited I would be looking at credit notes or not getting any refund for mths. I believe Thomas Cook customers are still waiting for their money! I sent the UK hotel 2 days before we were due to travel. As this was classed as a pensioners break I assumed not many would be going. The government had already advised lockdown. I put this to them but they said the hotel was up and running as normal. We had a 4 hr journey and was concerned about going. So cancelled. Same day an e-mail was sent to all customers saying the hotel had closed down! They haven't returned our deposit!!!
Hasse55
24th Apr 2020
0
Thanks for voting!
Qatar Airlines have refused point blank to a cash refund they will give a credit voucher valid until Sept. I think most travel companies in trying to preserve their companies have treated customers shabbily. Contacting them and trying to get them to take some responsibility seems to be virtually impossible and travel insurance companies are just as bad.
Sally-JaneB
24th Apr 2020
0
Thanks for voting!
I’m due a refund for a cruise I should be on now and also a refund fir a short break to see Andre Rieu in his home town in July. The cruise company has emailed frequently saying it will be in touch and not to contact them. The latest offer is a credit refund with a 20% discount if I book another cruise., or a refund but not until a year after I was due to cruise! I can apply fir a refund straight away but contacting them is almost impossible and costly!! I appreciate that to pay every booked and cancelled holiday would probably send holiday companies into administration at the very least. Though to gang on to my money fir over a year with no interest us a pushing it a bit. The way scientific officers are speaking unless there is a sudden break through with a vaccine lockdown will still be with us fir a least a year so no point in rebooking a holiday especially as now travel insurance will not cover anything to do with covid19.
JNPPAP
14th Apr 2020
0
Thanks for voting!
Any thoughts on his? Booked Canada trip form 10/5/2020 to 30/5/2020, the booking included flights, hotels, ferries and Rocky Mountaineer rail journey. The trip has been fully paid. I am now been offered a credit for a later date, which is not satisfactory from my point of view as we will have other commitments next year. The company are saying that as the rail part is a Canadian company they won't give refunds. I have the ATOL/ABTA certificates which state the holiday is protected so why the fuss about a refund?
jeaniembe
29th Apr 2020
0
Thanks for voting!
I believe everything should be covered if you booked all the individual parts as a package. That is you didn't book the rail part separately, yourself. It doesnt matter that it is a Canadian company if the holiday firm booked it on your behalf. I also think you are covered because they booked it before you went on holiday and not after you arrived. You do not have to accept any credit vouchers. By law, refunds should be given within 14days. I am not sure whether the government has changed this since to give them more time. Worth checking the legalities on this. I was having a little trouble with my travel agent when cancelling our holiday. Evasion tactics until I quoted the 14 day rule. Then the money was in my account within days! Don't know how I would fare now.
ChrisB58
13th Apr 2020
2
Thanks for voting!
Should be going to Jersey in May
Initially in doubt as Flybe went bust
Now we have to rebook another date and pay difference or travel next year
If we cancelled would have lost air fair = to deposit
Aparm
12th Apr 2020
2
Thanks for voting!
Having already lost out on half of our holiday and after footing the cost for a flight home, we need to have our money back. A credit voucher is of no use to us at all.
Katypee
24th Apr 2020
0
Thanks for voting!
Same here, awaiting refund from Emirates, flight cancelled day before we were due to travel home.
Qatar Airway got us home, after we paid for flight home, cost of refund won’t nearly cover it
Carnflower
11th Apr 2020
3
Thanks for voting!
When Thomas Cook collapsed my daughter lost her 40th birthday holiday to Turkey.
She did get a cash refund months and months later.So hang on in there if you want a cash refund stick at it .
jeaniembe
29th Apr 2020
0
Thanks for voting!
We arrived home from Turkey 2 weeks before Thomas Cook collapsed. Booked with Jet 2 for this year but obviously cannot go. Have received my refund promptly. It was the travel agent that was less helpful. However when I informed them that I knew the 14 day refund law, the money was paid into my account within days!
DipsyDitsy
10th Apr 2020
3
Thanks for voting!
Might miss my holiday in Scotland if we are still in lock down by the end of July. We booked two different flats for a week n each on the West Coast. I never buy insurance for holidays in the UK and I tend to think that insurance may not cover a pandemic in any case. I suppose the landlords of the flats may refund or part refund or just moving the booking into later this year or to next year would be okay. Missing a holiday without refund is not so terrible considering that people are dying of the virus.
jeaniembe
29th Apr 2020
0
Thanks for voting!
Life is more important than money. We have yearly insurance covering us for Turkey but it also covers you in UK for if you couldn't go on holiday due to illness etc. Many times UK holidays are more expensive then going abroad. If you are already insured would be covered for coronovirus because it was an unknown risk. Now you wouldn't get covered because it is a known risk. Many insurers such as LV are not taking on new customers for travel insurance. However as we have yearly insurance they say we can renew and would be covered.
LindaM792
10th Apr 2020
2
Thanks for voting!
Our holiday to Jordan was cancelled by the holiday company Exodus. They are point blank refusing a refund our money. We can sympathise to a degree but the way they have handled this has really made us angry. We don’t want to reschedule and we don’t want a credit voucher, whatever that is . It has put us off this company. It could have been handled so much better .
Bald123
9th Apr 2020
3
Thanks for voting!
One of our friends has already booked flights to Austria next February for a ski trip which I think is very optimistic but then they were only £24 each one way. Our friends have booked to South Africa in June and trying to get their money back but all the airlines phone lines are constantly engaged. It's a difficult situation.
Catton
9th Apr 2020
4
Thanks for voting!
Friend still trying to get refunded for her Thomas Cook holiday which she paid in full by credit card, a month before they went under. Everyone seems to be passing her to someone else.
jeaniembe
29th Apr 2020
0
Thanks for voting!
Has she tried claiming through credit card company.
SueC62
9th Apr 2020
3
Thanks for voting!
I made an early decision not to return to the UK from my place in Turkey and cancelled my flights with Pegasus Airlines. It was very easy giving me the options for my trip of 'Confirm, Change or Cancel'. I clicked on 'Cancel' and immediately got a breakdown of the amount I was to be refunded; 100%, including booking fees. It was credited to my credit card two days later. I've noticed since though that they now seem to be offering the same as other airlines which is 'Change' or a voucher.

EasyJet have cancelled my 20th April flight from Manchester to Tenerife but are only offering a change or voucher and my 8th May return flight hasn't yet been cancelled. As I already have flights booked for later in the year, which I expect to also be cancelled, I don't feel 'Change' is an option and would want a voucher for 2021 or even 2022. I've definitely lost £55 on cheap!! airport parking that I took out within the last month and didn't think to pay the £1.50 extra for cancellation cover.

I can sympathise with the airlines and holiday companies wishes for people to use the change or voucher option and if we still want them to be operating in the future, we should try, if we can afford it, to not go for the refund. We've already spent the money and we aren't going anywhere for the foreseeable future. I just hope the airlines are generous with the time frame for their coupons.

For anyone thinking of re-booking, I'd recommend looking at next year at the earliest. My friends in Tenerife have been on Spain's very strict lock down for a month. There is some evidence that it is starting to work but the local government are suggesting that, if it continues to improve, they may consider allowing domestic tourism from July with limited international tourism from October. Of course this will also depend on which countries they allow to fly in!
Conway
8th Apr 2020
2
Thanks for voting!
saga cancelled our cruse for the 10th of April on the 10th of March, offering a full refund or rebook for a later date with extra 25% , on the 26 th March Saga called to find out what our decision was we opted for full refund advised at that time saga accounts were taking 12 days to process refunds we fully understood this, now we are being told it will be a further 21 day, this is not acceptable, it was a Saga owned ship so they don’t have suppliers to pay. Waiting for a call back from a Saga Manager it takes up to 48 hours for them to call. I won’t be booking another cruise with Saga.
Wilf
8th Apr 2020
2
Thanks for voting!
Crazy I just cannot understand their customer service. Surely it is simple. Offer fantastic customer service. Give customers what they want and they will keep returning AND tell all their friends as well. Simple isn't it???? Amazon have got it sorted and so have Apple. No wonder they are the greatest and most valuable companies in the world.
JanetA78
8th Apr 2020
2
Thanks for voting!
while i fully understand why travel companies want to give credit notes there are a few flaws Our travel company phoned is early in March to tell us that if we wanted to cancel then for our holiday in June it was ok and we would get a refund (minus a small deposit) but if we left cancelling till after April 30th we would probably get a credit note As this was going to be our last holiday abroad due to health reasons we decided to accept the refund as we cant be sure that we will be fit enough to use the credit note next year.The credit note scheme is fine and will help travel companies survive but also there are valid reasons why people need the refund .We havent got our refund yet as they are dealing with them in order of travel but our travel company (Coop travel in Louth ) are keeping us fully informed and we are grateful for their help at this difficult time for everyone .
Aurora01
8th Apr 2020
1
Thanks for voting!
I was due to go to Malaga last week and the flight company said they would give me a refund automatically. However I booked two different accommodations through booking.com and they refused to refund my money or allow me to use it for future. I got part of the money back from one premise and nothing at all from the other.

Due to go on my main trip to South America at the end of August if that still goes ahead - if not I might get my flights back but the holiday itself was with a private operator and I paid the deposit which was more than a third of the holiday and was for a once in a lifetime trip so was very expensive anyway. I am not sure if I would get my deposit back as their website doesn't even mention anything about coronavirus.
smc63
8th Apr 2020
1
Thanks for voting!
I was due to go on holiday on 18/4/20 but due to Covid19 I obviously had to cancel. I had booked it through Airbnb and although it was a little confusing (some automated responses made it a little confusing!) after sending them a link to government website re advice on no travel, I was told I’d get a full refund. I initially was under the impression that it would be a credit note, which was fine, but I have now been given a full cash refund. I will have no hesitation in giving Airbnb as much of my holiday bookings, as is possible, in the future, once this is all over!
mavissecrett
8th Apr 2020
2
Thanks for voting!
I would be happy to receive a credit note in view of the present circumstances. We are all suffering and if this would help keep travel businesses afloat then all well and good. Once these terrible times are behind us then we can go back to refunding.
MelanieP6
8th Apr 2020
1
Thanks for voting!
My tour operator say they have taken ABTA's advice on issuing credit notes. ABTA say to issue a credit note and if it's not used by 30 June, you can have a refund instead. My tour operator say I can have a credit note valid up until 30 November 2021 which means they won't let me have the cash until all that time has expired and I haven't used it. I wouldn't mind waiting until 30 June, but I think having to wait 18+ months for my money back is unreasonable. I am fighting with them over this.
2
Thanks for voting!
Hello MelanieP6 and welcome to Silversurfers. I agree that waiting 18 months for your money back is unreasonable and I do hope you manage to get it sooner but in the meantime we're glad you've found us!

I hope you enjoy being part of our community.

Melina
SandraP32
8th Apr 2020
1
Thanks for voting!
Was due to travel 29th March with tui has been cancelled not had a phone call or refund have phoned and no answer have emailed again no answer, do we just sit and wait and be forgotten about?
SheilaS22
8th Apr 2020
3
Thanks for voting!
Whilst I can see the travel companies point of view, as someone who was supposed to travel on 22nd April, yes I want my money back. Know one knows how long it will take for things to get back to normal and it’s unfair of the travel companies to offer credit notes. I for one am a bit reluctant at this time to even consider travelling abroad until we can be sure that the situation has completely settled down, that could be 12 months or more. Sheila
[deleted]
8th Apr 2020
1
Thanks for voting!
Wilf
8th Apr 2020
1
Thanks for voting!
I suppose it is a variety of reasons Ernie from visiting friends and families (we have them in Portugal) to exploring and also relaxing in guaranteed sunshine in places like Portugal and Spain.
[deleted]
8th Apr 2020
2
Thanks for voting!
Wilf
8th Apr 2020
2
Thanks for voting!
I think you are absolutely right Ernie you do get what you pay for. We have mainly travelled in Europe and I find Easyjet and BA good. In fact BA is better as there is always a scramble for seats on Easyjet with their priority boarding and they always seem to say to the last passengers they have not got room for their bags in the aircraft cabin but they have to go in the luggage area. Most people do not want to bother with collecting bags as it takes ages. By the looks of it most airlines will have a real problem now anyway. "let the train take the strain" as they used to say!
Cassann
8th Apr 2020
1
Thanks for voting!
We booked a cruise to the far East in July last year, should have left today we were offered a full refund end of February so we took that, as we were so ready for a break and at that time didn't really appreciate the covid 19, we booked 10 days in Cyprus leaving on 12th April with TUI, up to now they have offered a change of dates which I would be happy to accept, I do worry about the impact on travel companies, but everyone's circs are different, we can reschedule our holiday, but some families will no doubt be struggling themselves and need the money back, it's a tough one really
Craigy1955
8th Apr 2020
3
Thanks for voting!
I have 2 holidays (Cornwall & Minorca) with my wife plus 2 golfing trips (Spain and Wales) with friends booked of which 2 are fully paid up and 2 just deposits. Whilst I appreciate that some travel companies are struggling, some have taken monies way up front and I know for a fact that most hotels in particular are not paid by travel companies until after the traveller has returned so they have money in hand. What I would like to see is a 50/50 agreement on instances where full payment has been made: 50% of the full payment is refunded and 50% in the form of an ABTA/ATOL protected credit note. In instances where just deposits are held, the travel company does not pursue the final payment of the holiday until the Covid19 situation is clearer and the deposit can be a credit note for amended bookings. I think this would put some trust back into the whole situation as travel companies are under severe financial pressure at the moment.
60kim
10th Apr 2020
0
Thanks for voting!
I totally agree with you that if people are fortunate enough to wait until next year for a holiday then that is a brilliant idea to go 50/50 with the holiday company. We really do not want them to go under as this would not benefit us or them in the long term, we all need to support each other through these difficult times if we can.
Munsterlander
7th Apr 2020
2
Thanks for voting!
We have been on the phone for countless hours to our tour operator and have got nowhere so far. It is terrible customer service and they will never get our business again. They should be doing the decent thing and returning MY money asap. It really is an outrage.
ElisabethR
7th Apr 2020
2
Thanks for voting!
How long will it be before it is safe to go abroad for a holiday again. Probably not until a workable vaccine is found. How long before countries suffering...all of them.....Will be able to accept holidaymakers again?
All debatable. Would like to have my money back. After all this probably won't go again anyway.
Yagala
7th Apr 2020
2
Thanks for voting!
I am sorry to say that after my wife past away I did not go to any holiday what so ever or wherever.
I tried it once on a single holiday but after a tiring day coming back to my hotel and my room, to find a female uninvited in my room I decided that a holiday is not really my thing if things like that happened.
Retiredyorkie
7th Apr 2020
2
Thanks for voting!
Booked and paid for a holiday early June, awaiting contact from the well known over 50's company to contact me. I am willing to transfer my bookings until next year -

I have also booked to go away later in the year so sitting and hoping by then things will be almost back to normal.
Wilf
7th Apr 2020
2
Thanks for voting!
We had been going to Portugal in September but that does not look likely at the moment as unless there is a vaccine by then-unlikely-then if you have not had the virus would you want to get on a holiday jet? We booked the flight and hotel separately so can get the money back on the hotel-which we may do soon but I am not sure about the flights as I do not think our insurance would cover us.
shrew1742
7th Apr 2020
7
Thanks for voting!
The government and the public- in cases like this - have to give all trading companies whatever help they need to survive if at all possible. The more businesses that survive this awful pandemic the sooner our economy will pick up again. Stay safe everyone.
Joe90
7th Apr 2020
4
Thanks for voting!
Japan doesn't now look like it is going to happen for us in May. Have paid in full, although would like my money back, I fully appreciate the predicament this now presents the travel industry.
Under the present unique emergency situation, I am prepared to accept a credit note (with it's Government guarantee). After all, it's money that would have been spent anyway.
I presume that if I book a cheaper holiday in the future, I would get the balance back in cash, not a voucher!
bob scott
7th Apr 2020
3
Thanks for voting!
A holiday would be nice in the first place, we had to cancel half way through last year, after calling out an ambulance who took the wife to hospital I cannot remember what she had was called, some type off infection in her leg muscle, she was given crutches and a wheel chair, then we had to pack up and return home. then last June the wife had stroke in two hospitals for two months. we were just beginning to look for a nice place to stay for a week. then Corona virus but paid to that. Bob.
Ian123
7th Apr 2020
8
Thanks for voting!
A lot of money may be involved on a personal level, but this time, I am afraid, I have to side with ABTA..
As long I was given the credit note I would be reassured that my money was safe and that I could then book another holiday when I wished.
If some of the travel firms go bust then that means less competition and higher prices.
Just look at the prices of last minute holidays after Thomas Cook collapsed.
14 days is far too short a period in this situation.
Hotels and Airlines will have been paid.
Interaction between parties to claim recompense will take time,
so I for one am grateful that so far my family and I have taken the necessary precautions and have luckily we have managed to stay symptom free.
Many, many people would lose their livelihoods.
In the bigger picture ensuring our health and surviving is a far bigger issue.
I am far more worried about all our key workers having to go about their daily duties knowing that this virus is non discriminate in who it chooses.
Special thoughts and deep admiration to the NHS staff and Carers on the frontline.
Deepest sympathies to those who have lost loved ones.
ArchieUK
7th Apr 2020
4
Thanks for voting!
If you have paid for your holiday in full,YES,if you have only paid for you holiday with a deposit and a IOU, that is a debatablel position perhaps only then you should only get back in cash the actual mony you have parted with.
Trixiefifi
7th Apr 2020
3
Thanks for voting!
Already received my holiday refund from Jet2. Should have been going to gran Canaria on the 23 April. They were extremely efficient. My only complaint now is that I cannot get a refund from my holiday insurer. Payingtoomuch were not very heloful at all. Wouldn't ecpect it all back but think of all the thousands of people who insurance and they are keeping it all. Not happy with them at all.
Wilf
7th Apr 2020
4
Thanks for voting!
That is interesting about Jet2 Holidays. They have got an excellent reputation and this reflects that. I think we may look at them in future as they also have very keen prices.
jeaniembe
29th Apr 2020
0
Thanks for voting!
Jet2 paid me back quickly as well. If you have got your money back what are you claiming for from your travel insurance? Are you saying they should give you your insurance payment back because you are not going on holiday? It doesn't work like that.
MrsPat
7th Apr 2020
3
Thanks for voting!
We were due to go to Crete in April but had to cancel and had countless phone calls with our tour operator trying to get our money back. Our view is it is our money and we want it back not a vouchor for some time in the future. Surely they have our money; they cannot deliver the holiday so we should have a full refund?
Felix1
7th Apr 2020
8
Thanks for voting!
Credit notes for cash or a holiday in the future are more realistic. Giving refunds would cripple the companies indefinitely.
60kim
10th Apr 2020
0
Thanks for voting!
Totally agree, we need to support them to keep our choices in the future.

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