Travel Disputes Arising from COVID-19

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has placed restrictions on all non-essential travel for an ‘indefinite’ period. This has extensive consequences to customers who have pre-booked holidays as most airlines have cancelled flights until at least the end of May 2020. Kathryn Clare, Associate, answers some of the most frequently asked questions regarding travel disputes arising from COVID-19.

Will I Be Refunded for My Cancelled Holiday?

You should check the travel company webpage for information. Some airlines and travel companies are clearly stating that they are offering full refunds whilst others are pushing customers to ‘postpone’ their holiday until a later date by offering vouchers or waiving their administration fees.

At SAS Daniels, we have received a number of queries from clients who are unable to ‘postpone’ their holiday to a later date due to their own personal circumstances.

Clients should therefore check the terms and conditions for the individual company.

You should be able to get a full refund if the airline or travel company has cancelled your holiday, however unfortunately some companies appear to be making this difficult for their customers. SAS Daniels are able to assist you with this if you find that your holiday company are being difficult and not offering you a refund.

I Have a Payment Upcoming for My Summer Holiday. Should I Pay It?

These are unprecedented times and at the moment, nobody can guarantee when the travel restrictions will be lifted. You will not usually be entitled to a refund if you decide not to travel even if the reason for your travel has been cancelled (e.g. if you were travelling to attend an event that has been cancelled such as a wedding or a sporting event).

If you are contractually bound to make a payment, you should continue to comply with the terms of your contract to avoid the risk of losing any deposit paid and/or the company seeking to enforce the contract by pursuing you for the payment.

SAS Daniels are on hand to assist you in reviewing your holiday terms and conditions if you have any queries about future holidays.

Am I Covered by Insurance?

You should review the terms of your insurance policy in detail. Some insurance policies cover their customers if the FCO advises against travel, some customers should look for ‘travel disruption clauses’ and some insurance policy are circumstance dependent.

If you are unsure about whether your insurance policy covers you for this scenario, please do not hesitate to get in touch with a member of our dispute resolution team.

If you are concerned about an upcoming holiday or a holiday that has been cancelled by your travel provider, please do not hesitate to contact Kathryn Clare, Associate, on 01244 30 5955 or email [email protected].