As part of the latest 4-week lockdown announced by the Government on 31st October, people in the UK will not be allowed to travel internationally or in the UK. There are exceptions such as for work, education or other legally permitted exceptions.
If you have booked a holiday for over this period, you may be worried about claiming back the lost funds and whether you have cover for this under your Travel Insurance.
We take a look at what you should do if your holiday has been affected and the actions you can take:
First port of call
The Government has now delivered a ‘stay at home’ order, commencing from 5th November. Any package holidays should now be cancelled and you should be entitled a full refund. However, this doesn’t work in the same way if you booked the travel components such as the flight and hotel separately. Recently, a major budget airline has announced they will not be offering refunds for November flights, and are instead offering their customers the opportunity to move their flight date at no additional cost.
If the airline cancels your flight, you are legally entitled to a refund and in the first instance, you should wait until they contact you. Yet, many holidaymakers are still waiting for their refund from these companies, who are insisting that they instead rebook their trip or accept vouchers. If you’re unwilling to accept these alternatives, you can try to claim the money back through your debit or credit card provider. If the airline doesn’t cancel the flight, regardless of Government advice, this makes things a little trickier.
Making a complaint to airlines
You can escalate the complaint by contacting the relevant airline and if this doesn’t resolve matters – you can raise the complaint to the relevant alternative dispute resolution (ADR) body that your airline is signed up to. If you’ve exhausted all other avenues, you can contact the CAA. They’ve issued a full breakdown of how to send a complaint here.
Privately booked hotels
If you didn’t book your hotel as part of a package holiday, your next course of action will depend on the type of booking you made. In light of COVID-19, many hotels have offered more flexible bookings with late cancellation options. However, if you have booked a non-refundable hotel, you may not be entitled to a refund but that doesn’t necessarily mean you don’t have any options. Some hotels will refund the booking due to the circumstances and others may offer to move your booking. Many hotels are struggling too over these times so will often be more than happy to accommodate you at another time.
COVID-19 Travel Insurance
If you took out Travel Insurance before your holiday, you may find that this will cover for some of the lost costs of your trip; exactly what you’re covered for will be determined by the individual terms and conditions of your policy. Your policy is not in place to cover the costs that your airline or holiday operator has a legal duty to provide. If you have any questions about your policy and what you can and cannot claim back on, get in touch with your broker or insurer directly.
For any advice or support in arranging, claiming on or updating your insurance, whether it’s for you or your business, we may be able to help. Just call us on 01527 874092 to find out how we can help you.