ABTA has said customers hit by a change in travel advice from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office should be offered a “full refund”.
The announcement follows recent changes on travel regulations to Spain, with the British government surprisingly reintroducing quarantine measures.
The FCO simultaneously began to urge against ‘all but essential travel’ to the destination, forcing the cancellation of thousands of holidays.
Following representations made to ABTA concerning package holiday customers’ refund entitlement in the event of such an eventuality, the body has confirmed that customers should be offered a refund in such circumstances.
In accordance with the articles of the association, the board agreed unanimously that members should offer refunds to their package holiday customers where the Foreign Office advises against travel at the time the customer is due to travel.
It has been reported two members, On the Beach and Loveholidays, were refusing refunds.
Commenting ABTA chief executive, Mark Tanzer, said: “This clarification by the ABTA board is welcome, and will reassure customers who book with ABTA members that the protections of the package holiday still apply, notwithstanding the challenges of the current Covid-19 situation.
“Members may well be able to offer affected customers alternative destinations or travel dates, but ABTA has maintained since the beginning of the crisis that it expects its members to recognise refund obligations where they arise, and to work with customers to settle these obligations at the earliest opportunity.
“While we fully recognise the pressures faced by many members at present, the ABTA board’s position on this refund issue is in the best interest of customers, of the ABTA membership as a whole, and of the package travel industry.”
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