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Refunds for credit note for cancelled holidays even if travel firms go bust – But only if it’s a ‘package’.

By Lyndsey Thomas – 19th July 2020
cancelled holidays

Have you ever had a cancelled holidays experience? Some of the UK’s most respected travel firms who have been operating for decades have gone under as a result of coronavirus. And I expect there will be more casualties from younger, less respected travel companies.

If you’ve accepted credit notes from travel firms due to cancelled holidays as a result of Covid19, understandably you’re nervous!

The problem with accepting refund credit notes and vouchers from travel companies has been what would happen if the travel company was to go under?

Cancelled Holidays! Would it just be a case of ‘tough shit’?

Good news though – the government has confirmed that if you’ve accepted a credit note for cancelled package holidays you will get your money back if the company you booked with goes bust.

The government has now said it will protect refund credit notes issued between 10 March 2020 and 30 September 2020 for ATOL-protected bookings.

This means that your credit notes are only projected if you’ve booked a ‘package holiday’ though – meaning flight-only is not ATOL-projected. And if you’ve booked a flight and a hotel from the same company in two separate transactions, this is not covered either.

The scheme is normally used to stop package holiday customers being stranded abroad or losing money from future bookings when operators collapse – similar to what happened with all those Thomas Cook customers. Although a lot of them still lost out because they’d booked flight-only in one transaction.

Consumer group Which? has been advising people to reject refund credit notes and “insist on a refund” because of concerns about them being worthless if the issuing firm goes under.

And so have we.

Some travel firms are offering vouchers rather than refund credit notes.

Although these are often worth more than the original booking, to incentivise customers not to request cash, the CAA said they are not ATOL protected – so the bad news is, if you’ve said yes to the voucher, this doesn’t apply to you.

For more info on ATOL and what it covers – read my article on travel industry regulations – I’ve tried to make a really confusing subject as easy as possible to understand.

If you’re still not entirely sure where you stand – feel free to drop me a message and I’ll do my best to help you.

More info about Holiday Refunds

Lyndsey

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