Claiming a refund if your travel provider cancels due to coronavirus
If your travel plans are cancelled due to coronavirus, there are a few steps you should take in order to seek a refund.
1. First try to get a refund from your travel provider
If your provider has cancelled your travel plans, in most situations they are legally required to offer you a refund.
Although phonelines are busy right now, you must speak to your provider first to know your options.
If you’ve booked your holiday in parts – for example, you booked your flights directly with the airline and your accommodation directly with the hotel – only one part might be cancelled. In such cases, speak to the providers that have yet to cancel and see if they will also provide a refund due to the change in circumstances.
Keep in mind
- If you’re offered a travel voucher or credit note instead of a refund, it’s your decision whether to take it. If you do take it in the first instance, you can still ask for a refund.
- Don’t expect an instant refund. This is a very busy time, with many people requesting refunds. So be prepared to wait at least a month to get your money back.
- If your provider says no to a refund, ask them to confirm this in writing, including the reason why. You’ll need this as proof later.
If you have been offered a travel voucher or credit note, you won’t be able to claim through your travel insurance.
2. Get a refund through your bank or building society
Only try this if:
your travel provider said no to a refund, and
you paid for your trip by debit or credit card.
Important information about card schemes and payment protection
Claiming a refund via debit or credit card chargeback
Card payment schemes, such as Visa, let you dispute and request payments to be charged back to the provider if you don’t receive certain parts of the service you were promised when making a purchase.
For example, if you book an all inclusive accommodation that turns out to be bed and breakfast only, you could potentially claim for the meals and drinks not provided.
Please note: you’re only able to request to charge back the value of the original purchase.
Protection under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act
You may also have protection under the Consumer Credit Act if you paid by credit card. You are covered for goods and services costing between £100 and £30,000 where you have used your credit card, even if you only paid for part of the total cost with your credit card.
Making a claim
- You’ll need to speak to the bank or building society whose card you used.
- You’ll need confirmation that your travel provider cancelled your trip and refused a refund.
- Visa dispute claims must be made within 120 days of the trip being cancelled, or your return date. There are no time limits under the Consumer Credit Act for making a claim under Section 75.
Evidence to support your claim
There are a few pieces of evidence that we’ll need to see in order to try and get your money back for you. For more information, visit our claims evidence guide.
If you register your claim using our online form, make sure to have copies of your evidence ready to attach to the form, so that we receive your claim and your evidence at the same time.
If your card provider can't resolve your claim, ask them to confirm it in writing. You may need this as proof later.
3. Get a refund through your travel insurance
Only try this if:
you couldn’t get a refund from your travel provider – and have proof of this, and
your travel insurance policy covers cancellation and travel disruption due to coronavirus.
What you’re covered for
If you hold a FlexPlus account or travel insurance as part of your FlexAccount, you can get detailed information about your cover and making a claim on our coronavirus travel insurance page.