Holiday vouchers are safer

By | Category: Travel news

For those people who have been unfortunate to have had holidays cancelled this year, there is a right, enshrined in law, to receive a full refund.

Now your money is safer if you accept a voucher

Given the cash flow position that put many tour operators and airlines in, some offered credit refund notes or vouchers. These promised to pay the monies at some time in the future or could be set against the cost of future holidays with the same company.

Up until now, the advice that Just about Travel and many other publications have given is not to accept refund credit notes because they were not guaranteed by the ATOL bonding scheme. If the tour operator or airline went bust, travellers would have little recourse to get their monies back.

But that advice altered yesterday when the Department for Transport announced that the government would protect refund credit notes offered if packages are cancelled as a result of COVID-19.

The change, which will apply to package holidays including a flight, will mean passengers who accept refund credit notes for cancelled holidays as a result of COVID-19 will be protected by the ATOL scheme if necessary, even if the company they have booked with later collapses.

Organisations have been calling for this move for some time yet the government has been resistant to the move. Why the change now?
Could it be that it can see so many tour operators and holiday companies going to the wall if there wasn’t such relief available?

It was only as recently as June 29th when the Financial Conduct Authority reminded travellers that “if the vouchers are not claimed in the timeframe given, or the travel provider goes out of business before the voucher is used, you may not be able to return to the card issuer with a valid claim.”

At last we have clarity

Please note that the protection doesn’t apply if you booked just a flight or just accommodation but only when you booked a package.

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