With a track record of claiming over £70million in compensation from airlines and holiday companies, we are stepping forward to help consumers who have been unable to receive refunds for their cancelled holidays or flights.
Below, we explain what your legal rights are for both flight cancellations, and packaged holidays cancelled due to Coronavirus. We’ll also explain your right to refunds for cruises that have been cancelled.
We’ve heard from hundreds of unhappy consumers. Although it may not seem like it, the law is on your side, and depending on your circumstances, there may be multiple ways for you to claim your refund.
Although it may not seem like it, the law is on your side, and depending on your circumstances, there may be multiple ways for you to claim your refund.
These laws mean you are not legally bound to accept vouchers under any circumstances unless you wish to.
We hope the information we provide below will help you resolve your issues directly with the holiday companies. For those who continue to struggle, you can draw on our considerable travel law experience by contacting us to let us take care of the process for you.
How To Claim Refunds For Flights And Holidays Cancelled Because Of Coronavirus
The Covid-19 pandemic has changed our lives like we’ve never experienced before. Equally, the travel industry has been brought to a standstill, threatening its existence.
While we acknowledged the financial pressures that holiday companies and airlines are under, equally, many consumers have financial concerns of their own that consumer rights laws are in place to protect against.
Depending on your circumstances, various laws apply to claim a refund for a cancelled flight or cancelled holiday.
These include The Consumer Rights Act, guidance from the Competition and Markets Authority, but also contract law – the agreement between yourself and the holiday company or airline that became binding when you made your reservation.
Be warned, none of these laws will protect you if you choose to cancel your flight or holiday.
Additionally, EU Regulation 261/2004 is applicable for cancellations affecting flights departing the EU (Including the UK) or arriving into the EU, with an EU airline.
Be warned, none of these laws will protect you if you choose to cancel your flight or holiday. Please do not cancel the booking yourself; it will severely weaken the rights you have to receive a refund.
These legal rights are applicable for all circumstances relating to flight and holiday cancellations due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
We believe it covers all consumers who may have –
- Flights or holidays with a departure date that has now passed.
- Flights or holidays with a departure date in the next three months.
- Airline Passengers with tickets for a route an airline continues to fly even if the FCO guidance warns against travel to that country.
- Airline Passengers who booked using air miles.
- Holidaymakers who have booked a cruise.
Flight Cancellations, EU Regulation 261 And Coronavirus.
Irrespective of the circumstance, EU laws that have been in place since 2005 for claiming compensation for flight delays and cancellations are valid in claims relating to cancelled flights because of Coronavirus.
It is specifically EU Regulation 261 laws relating to cancelled flights that are relevant for cancellations relating to Coronavirus. Under this law, you are legally entitled to a refund within seven days equal to the price you paid for your ticket.
This law applies to flights that would have departed from the EU or arrive in the EU on an EU based airline.
The United Kingdom is still part of the EU until the end of 2020, so the above criteria apply at a minimum to all EU and UK based airlines.
Don’t worry if your ticket is with a non-EU airline. You can still claim under EU 261 if your origin was in the EU.
Equally, don’t worry if your origin was outside of the UK as there are further laws that are in place to protect you.
Contract Law And Coronavirus
When you purchase an airline ticket or book a holiday with a travel firm, you enter into a contract. This contract is to protect both sides. In many cases, there will be clauses within this contract that will entitle you to a full refund.
Each travel company’s contract with you will be specifically worded and unique to that organisation. However, our experienced legal team can pinpoint these legally binding clauses for each, and claim for the refund on your behalf.
However, even if the travel company’s terms and conditions don’t expressly stipulate that you are entitled to a refund, you may still be able to claim a refund under the Consumer Rights Act 2015 or under general contract law.
Why Choose Bott and Co?
- Almost 300 Years Of Combined Legal Experience
- 100% Independent - We Act For Your Best Interests
- We Are The UK's Leading Consumer Law Firm
- We Have A Proven Track Record Of Success
Claiming Refunds For Upcoming Flights Or Holidays Because of Coronavirus
Many travel firms are using The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advice against travel to all overseas destinations as a point of reference when choosing to issue refunds. Unfortunately, the current FCO guidance is against all travel “indefinitely” rather than up to a specific date, which can leave the advice open to interpretation.
As such, some travel companies may delay issuing refunds as they may consider that “indefinitely” could change at any time. However, as it seems unrealistic that this advice will change in the near future, the majority of travel companies are issuing refunds 21 days in advance of the departure date.
But even in instances when travel companies are refusing to issue a refund for your flight or holiday, you are still entitled to a refund according to the Competition and Markets Authority.
While the CMA has acknowledged the pressure that holiday companies and airlines are under, equally, they have emphasised that consumer rights should not be ignored.
In instances when travel companies are refusing to issue a refund for your flight or holiday, you are still entitled to a refund according to the Competition and Markets Authority.
As such, the CMA has a Covid-19 Taskforce in place to identify businesses that are frustrating or not respecting cancellation rights of consumers.
The CMA states clearly on the Government website, “where a contract is not performed as agreed, the CMA considers that consumer protection law will generally allow consumers to obtain a refund.
In particular, for most consumer contracts, the CMA would expect a consumer to be offered a full refund where:
A business has cancelled a contract without providing any of the promised goods or services;
No service is provided by a business, for example, because this is prevented by Government public health measures;
A consumer cancels or is prevented from receiving any services because Government public health measures mean they are not allowed to use the services.”
The guidance on this is clear; you are legally entitled to a refund irrespective of the current FCO guidance and within reason, the dates of your flight or holiday.
What Can I Do If The Holiday Company Has Agreed To A Refund, But I Haven’t Received It Yet?
Under EU Regulation 261/2004 an airline is legally obliged to provide a refund within seven days of cancelling the flight.
For cancelled holidays, the relevant law is The Package Travel and Linked Travel Arrangements Regulations (2018), which stipulate that refunds should be made within 14 days. We have heard from many clients who have waited much longer than this or haven’t received the refund at all.
We are taking on cases for those who have yet to receive their refunds, speeding up the process and ensuring you receive what is rightfully yours as quickly as possible.
How Do I Apply For A Refund For A Cancelled Cruise Because Of Coronavirus?
The same legal rights apply for cruises as they do for packaged holidays and flights. You will have numerous legal options available to you including The Consumer Rights Act, your contract with the cruise provider and the guidance from the Competition and Markets Authority.
When Should I Accept Vouchers?
While we believe you are legally entitled to a full financial refund, you may wish to accept a voucher if this fits with your personal circumstances.
We also think it’s up to the holiday company or airline to make the offer of a voucher attractive enough to persuade a passenger to choose that over a cash refund.
If you are considering accepting vouchers, we would advise you considering asking for one or more of the following
- The voucher is valid for an extended period. We would recommend a minimum of two years, preferably five.
- The voucher is protected against airline (or tour operator) insolvency in some way, and you have a right to a full refund should this happen.
- The voucher is transferable to another person.
- The voucher is for a higher amount than the cash value.
How Do I Start A Claim With Bott and Co?
We’ve made the legal process as simple as possible. Just complete our online form, and we’ll take care of the rest. It’s as simple as that.
Our No Win No Fee legal services are provided with the added comfort of knowing that you won’t pay a penny if in the unlikely event we’re unsuccessful with your claim. For successful claims, a fee of 25% is deducted from the refund amount recovered.
Why Should I Choose To Claim With Bott and Co?
We have heard from hundreds of holidaymakers who have been frustrated with the holiday companies tactics to delay or avoid paying refunds.
Over the last twenty years, we’ve specialised in “David Vs. Goliath” legal battles against holiday companies and airlines, with a proven track record of success, most notably shaping the law for airline passenger rights to claim for compensation when airlines are at fault for flights that have been delayed or cancelled.
As the leading consumer law firm in the UK, we have unmatched experience and expertise in these types of legal disputes.