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Very few plans have gone unaltered in 2020, from plans as simple as grabbing coffee with friends to plans as big as a trip years’ in the making. And with rules and regulations changing every week, it can be quite overwhelming trying to figure out how to get your money refunded in case of a cancellation due to Covid-19.
So, here’s a quick guide with some relevant links that can help you understand what you’re entitled, in case your travel plans get cancelled due to Covid-19.
Flights and package holidays
If your trip gets cancelled due to travel restrictions being imposed on the country you planned on visiting, you may have the right to a refund or rebooking.
According to the EU flight-delay rules, you’re entitled to a full refund within seven days. You’re entitled to choose between either a refund for the cancelled flight or an alternate flight, also known as re-routing.
If your booking was for a package holiday, under the Package Travel Regulations, you are due a full refund within 14 days.
However, it is important to note that the time frames mentioned here might not be possible under the current circumstances, simple due to the high number of cancellations the tourism industry is having to process. The important thing to note is that you are due a refund, regardless of how long it takes the company to process it.
For all other travel bookings like car hire, hotels, etc. you should still be entitled to a refund but that is dependent on the company you have booked with as UK laws are not enforceable abroad – so there are no guarantees. It’s always best to check your cancellation rights directly with the company before booking. If you can pay on the day, that’s the safest option.
It’s important to note that most travel insurers will tell you to apply for a refund through the company you booked with before trying to claim insurance. So, read up on the terms and conditions of your travel insurance before booking so you’re fully aware of what scenarios it covers and what it doesn’t. Also, do keep in mind that claiming insurance can lead to an excess fee and more insurance in the future.
Its always worth asking if you can replace your voucher with a refund, however in scenarios where that might not be possible, having a voucher is a good way to keeping your money safe and still be able to enjoy your holiday at a later date, once restrictions are lifted. Just make sure to check the expiration date of your voucher and read up on all terms and conditions.
Tickets for events
Whether you can get a refund from a cancelled event or not, depends largely on the type of event you booked. Some might offer full refunds whereas others might decide to hold a virtual event or postpone their event to a later date and thus might not offer any refunds. Do read through the terms and conditions on your ticket and see what you’re entitled to in case of a cancellation before booking.
If you were planning a wedding, it is important to know what the permitted guest limit is. This again may vary as coronavirus cases rise or drop. Make sure to check with all the services you’re booking, what their cancellation policy is.
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) have issued a letter reminding venue providers the need for their contracts to comply with consumer protection law. You can read up more on this here.
Having trouble getting refunded?
Sometimes companies can make it difficult to get your refund, so here are some tips that can help you get the refund you’re entitled to.
- Claim from your card provider
You can try claiming a chargeback from your card provider on the transaction. On Credit Cards, firms are equally liable if some something goes wrong, so you may be able to claim your money back directly from your credit card provider. You can find some more details on this here.
- Make a Formal Complaint
If everything else fails, you could try to pursue the holiday firm by taking legal action. This usually should be taken as a last resort, as it can be a time-consuming process and could cost money. What steps you take will vary depending on what your claim is for. You can read up more on this here.
- See the company’s ADR (alternative dispute resolution) scheme
An ADR scheme is something a lot of companies use to resolve issues outside of court. To find out if the company uses ADR, look on their website. Often under tabs that say things like “if you’re still unhappy” or “escalating complaints”. If you can’t find one, contact the company and ask for their specific policies.
Note: Covid-19 is a fast-changing situation. The information in this guide is the best we have on the date it was published. For more up-to-date information, please refer to moneysavingexpert.com or gov.uk.
- Author The Bamboo Team
- Posted 18 September 2020