19 Dec

Consumer information following tier 4 announcements

Following Government announcements on 19 December 2020

ABTA has released the following statement to the media following the announcement of tier 4 restrictions: 

"ABTA has always maintained that public health must, of course, come first. Those due to travel imminently should speak to their travel provider to discuss their options.

“It is clear that travel businesses will need additional support to get through the next few weeks. More than nine months into this crisis, official statistics from the ONS already show that travel is the hardest hit service sector in the UK economy, worse than hospitality and other areas. Tailored financial support for the travel industry is long overdue, and must be urgently addressed by the Chancellor in the wake of this announcement. The Scottish Government has recognised this already, and promised funding from January. Other parts of the UK must follow suit without delay."

I am subject to a local / national lockdown and I’m due to travel imminently, what does this mean for my forthcoming holiday? Am I entitled to a refund?

Customers with holidays due to depart during a lockdown period are advised to speak to their travel company to discuss their options. Options will include rebooking for a later date – which would mean travellers still get their holiday and have something to look forward to after lockdown.

Depending on what type of travel service you have booked, the company’s policy, and the circumstances, you may be able to get a refund or a refund credit note or other form of voucher. If the airline cancels your flight, the travel company cancels the package holiday or the Foreign Office advises against all but essential travel you should be entitled to a full refund.

In other situations, customers should speak to their travel company to discuss what their options are. There are likely to be options to amend travel dates beyond the end of the lockdown period. If no alternatives can be arranged customers might receive a part refund although the travel company would be entitled to retain any costs already incurred that could not be recovered from the travel service suppliers. This is what the Competition and Markets Authority has said about local lockdowns so far. You can speak to your travel insurance provider to see if there is any cover, although most policies don’t cover for this sort of COVID cancellation.

See our coronavirus Q&A for more information