We are so proud that we are a member of ABTA and that we receive the most up to date advice regarding news about your holiday plans.
There is no hiding from the fact that the Coronavirus has taken the centre stage in the media this week and is the topic of conversation for most, especially if you have planned or are planning a holiday, however with so much conflicting advice being given – who do you listen to?
Many of you have booked your holiday with us before and know that we only offer holidays that are covered by the Package Holiday Regulations, but what does this mean for you and those that are still waiting to book?
We thought we would share this great Q&A session of the top most asked questions ABTA have received this week from customers that are planning to travel to destinations with reported cases of Coronavirus.
Q: WHAT HAPPENS IF MY TRAVEL PLANS ARE AFFECTED?
A: Your travel plans may be affected in different ways, depending on Foreign Office advice. If the Foreign & Commonwealth Office advises against travel to a destination and your holiday arrangements have been affected, your travel provider will get in touch and advise you of the options open to you. Travellers are advised to read the Foreign & Commonwealth Office travel advice for the country they are travelling to, which includes a link through to the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC) TravelHealthPro website that provides specific travel health advice for countries. The Foreign Office also has a specific page with more information on Coronavirus https://www.gov.uk/guidance/travel-advice-novel-coronavirus.
Q: WHAT IF I AM UNSURE ABOUT GOING ON MY HOLIDAY?
A: Most destinations do not have any British Government advice against travel as a result of coronavirus, and of course a number of cases have been reported here in the UK. The Government advice is based on their objective assessment of risk, and they will always put the safety of UK citizens first. They will advise against travel to a destination when they judge the level of risk to be unacceptably high. If there is no Government advice against travel to your destination, you’re free to make the choice not to go, but there’s no obligation on your holiday company to give you a refund. Normal cancellation charges will apply. It is highly unlikely that you will be able to claim any cancellation charge on your insurance as there isn’t normally cover for disinclination to travel but you can check the terms of your policy.
Where the Foreign Office advises against travel to a country or a specific resort or area of a country the following applies:
Q:DOES MY TOUR OPERATOR HAVE TO REFUND THE FULL PACKAGE OR ONLY PARTS OF MY HOLIDAY THAT ARE CANCELLED?
A: Tour operators can offer alternative holidays if they are able to. If these mean a significant change to the original arrangements, for example spending the whole or part of the holiday in a different country, you aren’t obliged to accept the alternative and will be entitled to a full refund of the package price.
Q:WHEN AM I NOT INTITLED TO A FULL REFUND?
A: If you have booked a package and are not due to travel imminently, tour operators will decide on an ongoing basis how far in advance they’ll begin offering alternative arrangements or providing refunds. The Foreign & Commonwealth Office advice is in relation to imminent departures and it is too early to say that your holiday can’t go ahead as planned. Therefore, customers with future departure dates will be required to wait to find out whether the advice changes and their holiday can continue as planned. If you cancel early you may have to pay cancellation charges.
Q:IF I CANNOT FOLLOW MY INITIAL TRAVEL PLANS DUE TO THE CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK AM I ENTITLED TO COMPENSATION?
A: You won’t be entitled to any compensation, as the reason for the holiday not continuing is outside the control of the tour operator.
Q:I’VE BOOKED A FLIGHT TO A COUNTRY WHERE THE FOREIGN OFFICE CURRENTLY ADVISES ALL BUT ESSENTIAL TRAVEL TO THAT COUNTRY OR A SPECIFIC RESORT OR AREA I OF THE COUNTRY, WHAT ARE MY RIGHTS?
A: Speak to your airline or travel provider to check what the airline’s policy is. You should also check your travel insurance to see if this will cover any additional costs.
For the most updated information from ABTA please follow https://www.abta.com/news/coronavirus-outbreak
Please don’t sit at home worrying, pop down and see us if you have any questions, that’s why we are here and remember the kettle is always on ❤️