Holiday Refunds

There’s been much in the news lately, concerning both airlines and holiday companies refusing to pay refunds in respect of holidays which they have been forced to cancel because of the current coronavirus crisis.

This, in spite of the legal position, which means that Joe Public is quite within their rights to refuse to accept either a credit note or a voucher to be used against a future booking.

So it’s quite refreshing to report that the full cost of our next trip, due to depart in a few day’s time, was today refunded by the nice folks at Jet2.

A month ago, they advised that our trip had been cancelled, and would be in touch nearer the time, since they were working through the bookings in departure date order, and a week ago sent me an invoice stating a a full refund would be paid, followed by a phone call yesterday, confirming this.

Today, the funds have appeared in my bank account, so something to brighten up an otherwise mundane day.

Nice one, Jet2. :clap: :clap:


Easyjet offer a voucher or rebooking. They will also refund in cash, BUT only by phone contact - not a freephone, and apparently with thousands in the queue, and only open something like 9-5…

There are many problems with this at the moment, one part being that if everybody was given a full refund immediately, most of the airlines and holiday providers would be likely to go bust, then many people would lose their money, unless they can claim from a credit card or insurance, in which instance the cost ultimately is met by other travellers. But while that might make it better to take a voucher if you do plan to take a holiday or trip with the same provider in the relevant timescale, you need to be careful because if the voucher is not ABTA or ATOL (or equivalent) backed, which apparently is not the norm, then if the company does go bust you have no protection - and at that point your insurance may also not cover, and unclear re credit card.

I have registrations for some cycling Fondos and charity events. Those are smallish amounts so no worries. My wife and I had our 25th anniversary this year and had not yet planned anything for it. We’ll postpone any planning now to next year.

We have a trip to Nepal & India booked for early June. I’m expecting it to be cancelled but it looks like the holiday companies are only doing this at the very last minute. I worry that refunding every booking might be a financial strain for smaller companies. I did read that credit notes issued to allow re-booking CAN be protected by ABTA/ATOL but you have to take care to ensure it’s clear that any credit note is covered like this. Personally, I’d still prefer to take the cash, but I’ll wait to see what’s on offer. I’d like any re-booking or credit note to be valid for at least 24 months - I can’t see the global situaiton getting back to anything like normal quickly, and who knows how many times we’ll be plunged back into restrictions.

How long do you think it’ll be before international flights are re-opened (from the UK, specifically)?

Been waiting on Tui for month now since they cancelled and i insisted on a refund. We should have departed on the 6 th April…they are trying to hang on to money for as long as possible.

I had a holiday due to leave last weekend, and it wasn’t until a week before that the travel company advised cancellation. (They offered options of rebooking, a voucher, or refund though advising that due to volume of people affected refunds may take a while. That to me is not unreasonable, given that they will have paid the airline and hotel, and will not have funds to repay until they are repaid.)

I have another booked for a month’s time that I don’t expect to happen, and don’t want to go because we will certainly not be out of this by then. And I really can’t see international travel being opened up by then, but there is nothing I can do except wait for the travel agent to cancel, whenever that will be.

And I have yet another (!) booked for December, a long haul and rather special one - and that one is more of a concern, for several reasons: It was not booked through an agent, but flights and accommodation separately, so more parties to deal with; It is quite a bit of money; Our present insurance expires before then, and there is a risk that they may have restrictions or limitations on cover available upon renewal, raising uncertainty as to the cover at the date of travel (and I’m guessing the renewal cost may rise significantly). It is far enough ahead that it is just possible things will open up by then, though I have my doubts. But not worth worrying over as there is nothing I can do about it.

(@GavinB, you asked how long people think it’ll be before international flights are re-opened (from the UK, specifically). Impossible to say. Maybe 6 months? Maybe a year or longer? Maybe as little as 4 months? And I am sure very limited to start with when it does. )

The tricky thing with prebooked hols is timing of cancelling, if you want your money back. Specific detail can vary, but most commonly it seems that if the travel company/companies cancel, then you should get your money back (or vouchers etc as already mentioned in this thread), or may be able to claim on insurance if they fail to do so.

However if you choose to cancel yourself, then in many cases you will not get your money back from the travel company/companies, and insurance in many cases will only cover you if at the intended time of travel your government has advised against all except essential travel, or the country you are going to bans entry (or if at the intended time of travel your doctor advises that you shouldn’t travel). But what counts is the situation pertaining on the day of outward travel, not anything at some time in advance: e.g at present UK Gov advises against all but essential travel anywhere, but whilst that appears to meet the requirement, if you cancel now, and that advice is lifted before the date of travel then insurance would not have to pay a penny. So the reality is that no matter how much you don’t want to go given the circumstances, or how much you believe things will not have eased by the travel date, you risk losing the money if you choose to cancel holidays in advance of the travel date: instead you may have to wait until the holiday is cancelled by the provider, or otherwise abandon the trip on the date of travel and claim on insurance.

It’s a tough one, Gazza, but each travel provider’s reaction to this is different, and in the case of Jet2, they’ve recorded an exceptional charge of £109m against fuel and foreign currency hedges for the current financial year.

They have also asked all employees, including directors, to take a 30% pay cut for the six-month period between 1 April and 30 September.

Performance-related bonuses for the financial year ended 31 March 2020 will not be paid, and the board “deems it inappropriate to recommend a final dividend” for the year while making use of the government scheme.

So, the steps they are taking have helped towards their doing the right thing by us, their customers.

I’m only glad that we didn’t have to revert to attempting to reclaim our costs from our travel insurer, as I’m already hearing tales of refusals to pay for Coronavirus cancellations.

Hopefully, Tui will do the right thing and sort you out. :crossed_fingers:

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We’re in this same position with our Nepal trip. I did contact the insurance company, and they assured me we’d be covered as we were at the time of booking. The only caveat here is that the time of booking was before the coronavirus thing kicked off - and we were. Our renewal is due in early May so we’ll wait to see what they offer.

I had flights booked and have accepted the voucher to use against future flights. I was offered the choice of this, rebooking or a cash refund. At the moment being classified as vulnerable I am unsure when I will be able to fly so vouchers seemed a good choice. I had hoped to fly later in the year but the way it seems to be heading I expect it will be next year before I can fly.

Its reassuring that Jet2 paid up hopefully others will follow suit. My youngest is going with Jet2 end of June to Fuerventura, not sure that will happen. My eldest is battling it out with Virgin holidays, they are apparently dreadful…insisting on a credit note. Which asked CAA if ATOL covered refund credit notes if they go bust, but last i heard there was no response.

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I’m also worried about being able to use my voucher. I’m holding a largish one from BA which expires next March - hoping to visit the SW USA but am not confident international travel for pleasure will be operating by then. Hopefully they will extend the validity.

I was due to go with Virgin Holidays on March 22.
They offered vouchers valid for 18 months but I opted for a refund. At the time they said it could take up to 49 days due to “volume of transactions” but of course that’s complete bo**ocks. Apparently for more recent customers it’s now stated as 90 days. All completely illegal.
I’m not holding my breath!

I’ve recently received full refunds from Trailfinders (Australian trip), boutique apartment owner (Scilly Isles), flight tickets (Skybus) and rescheduled Eurotunnel tickets for next year. The only company we’re struggling with is a Dutch concern that operates camp sites in France. They’re flatly refusing anything other than a credit note. It’s only a €200 booking, but the principle really annoys me. They’re relying, it appears, upon force majeure to weasel out. Trip Advisor will reflect our feelings in the fullness of time! We haven’t quite concluded negotiations with a French gîte owner, but think she’s slowly coming round to a refund of our deposit.

I do feel for companies who have already spent customers’ deposits on products and bookings, but not for those who have little capital outlay, and are simply using our cash as their personal income in advance of delivering a service.

Just spoke to Tui, those like me due to fly before April 16 th will get refunded on May 1st, this Friday, fingers crossed. They cancelled over 8 weeks ago, not impressed.

:+1: :+1:

That was the position when they cancelled my outward flight 2 weeks ago. Yesterday they cancelled my return, and interestingly now they have changed - although the layout and presentation of the website tries to steer away from it, there is a facility to complete a simple online refund request form (and going back to the email from 2 weeks ago I can confirm it is a change not something I missed). The efforts of Lewis Martin, of MoneySavingExpert, maybe contributed to that change.

They say may take up to 28 days given the level of demand. Given the circumstances I do not find that unreasonable at all. I suspect the main holiday booking will take longer than that to come through as the agent has to recover money from another airline and a foreign hotel, but I’d rather they did that than go bankrupt through paying out more rapidly they get the money back.

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We’ve had 100% refunds from AirBnB and TGV (travelling 05/06 to St Jean de Luz).

Waiting on Eurostar to see if our train to Paris on 06/06 and the return, is cancelled. I’m happy to accept a voucher but it must be valid for at least 18 months, not until 03/21 as currently offered.

I had to cancel 2 domestic airline trips (4 tickets) here in the US on Delta and Alaska airlines. Both have issued travel credits that need to be used in 1 year (Alaska) 2 years (Delta). I purchased them through Expedia and I spent hours to get my questions answered and my flights canceled. It would have been much easier for everyone, customers and airline agents, if the airlines just simply issued refunds. Period. These same airlines are getting a giant 25 billion dollar bailout from the US taxpayer to stay in business. It’s infuriating.

Well i had an email from First choice Tui announcing a refund of 70% of the holiday…that had me rushing for the phone. 1 hour later i get another email announcing the remainder being refunded??? Just need to see it on my credit card shortly…phew.

:crossed_fingers: :crossed_fingers:

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