Everyone living in a Tier 4 area of England, which currently covers London and the South East of England, has been banned from going on holiday at least until 30 December.
Those who had already booked package holidays should be entitled to a full refund, and TUI and easyJet Holidays have confirmed customers will get their money back, but some airlines aren’t offering customers cash refunds if the flights go ahead.
British Airways, for example, says customers will only be refunded if their flights are cancelled – if their flights operate they won’t get their money back. Instead, it is giving customers the option to re-arrange their flights for free or take a voucher for future use.
EasyJet says flight only customers can have a cash refund or a voucher but Ryanair hasn’t confirmed its policy and neither has Wizz, but the latter has consistently refused refunds, flight changes and vouchers to customers prevented from travelling.
Are you entitled to a refund?
The Competition & Markets Authority says it expects customers to be given the option of a refund when they can’t travel due to government restrictions but this hasn’t yet been tested in court. It is currently investigating airlines’ refusal to issue refunds during the nationwide lockdowns.
The consumer’s association Which? is advising customers who are refused flight refunds to be persistent. Which? Travel Editor Rory Boland said: “If you are unable to fly and have not been offered a refund, email your airline saying that you expect one and complain to the CMA. Then, if you are forced into a voucher, you may still be able to claim your money back at a later date.”