The MCCAA would like to inform consumers that, in an effort to secure rights to a refund for all effected consumers, the time window for the package tour operators to provide the refund in respect of package travel contracts cancelled between 1 March and 31 May 2020, has been extended to six months from the date the package travel contract is cancelled.
This provision will support the effective protection of consumers right to a refund by aiding travel operators to weather the current extraordinary circumstances and the impact of numerous simultaneous cancellations, combined with a lack of new bookings during this period.
Consumers continue to be encouraged to also consider alternative options being offered by travel operators such as modifying their travel plans to other dates.
Consumers may seek further information and assistance by contacting the MCCAA on [email protected] or by calling on freephone 8007 4400.
In view of the recent situation regarding the outbreak of the Coronavirus that has spread to various countries, the MCCAA would like to inform consumers about their rights in situations where their travel arrangements are significantly affected by precautionary measures taken to prevent further spread of the virus.
If consumers have booked a package holiday and in the event of unavoidable and extraordinary circumstances occurring at the place of destination or its immediate vicinity, the package holiday’s performance is significantly affected, such as for example a holiday purchased to go and see a sporting event that is cancelled (or ordered to be played behind closed doors), such holiday would be regarded as ‘significantly changed’. When this happens, the Package Travel and Linked Travel Arrangements Regulations give consumers the right to terminate the package travel contract without paying any termination fee and request a full refund from the tour operator.
In such instances, consumers are entitled to a full refund within 14 days, regardless of any terms and conditions agreed to in the sales contract that prohibit such refunds. Consumers are however not entitled to claim additional compensation.
If the organiser terminates the package travel contract due to unavoidable and extraordinary circumstances and notifies the consumer before the start of the package, the consumer is also entitled to a full refund but no additional compensation.
Consumers, who decide to cancel package holidays which can be performed in full without any reduction of significant parts of the original holiday programme, are not entitled to claim full refund. In such situations, consumers may be required to pay an appropriate and justifiable termination fee to the organiser.
Consumers’ current rights in respect of cancelled flights also apply in cases were flights are cancelled due to extraordinary circumstances such as travel bans, however in such instances effected passengers can only claim a refund or re-routing but not compensation.
Consumers may seek further information and assistance about their rights by contacting the MCCAA on [email protected] or by calling on freephone 8007 4400.