23 Apr
2020

Pressure mounts on Government to respond

The topic of refunds for customers with cancelled holidays during the ongoing crisis has attracted increasing focus this week.

Our pleas to Government to step in and provide more guidance and support have been echoed by consumer groups and this growing clarion call adds to the pressure for them to respond to clarify the situation for all concerned, particularly around financial protection arrangements. 
 
On Tuesday I wrote an open letter to customers that was published in the Telegraph providing some context about the current situation around refunds and asking for their support. The letter, which I’ve received many positive comments from Members about, highlights the work that is being done for customers in the most challenging circumstances with many businesses still waiting for money back from airlines and hotels.

The situation is very challenging but we must also do all we can to preserve customer confidence. It is vitally important that if you do offer your customers a refund credit note because you are unable to process an immediate cash refund for a cancelled package holiday within 14 days, you follow ABTA’s guidance for these refund credit notes. Customers whose package holidays have been cancelled because of the pandemic have a right to a refund, and where cash refunds are requested they should be given as soon as possible. 

In the meantime, ABTA continues to engage with MPs from across the political spectrum that have been contacted multiple times though our ‘Save Future Travel’ campaign to add to its weight. We know that many MPs are supportive of our asks, and have contacted Ministerial or Shadow Ministerial colleagues, and we now need that support to translate into Government action. 

Mark Tanzer, Chief Executive