Holidays, travel and refunds during COVID 19: our FAQ
Posted on Tuesday 20th July 2021
We've been through nearly two stressful years, so it is only right to relax and have some holidays! However, what if not everything goes as planned turning your dream vacation into a nightmare? We've answered those questions for you.
Before we begin, please bear in mind that the information provided can be updated at any time and that it is always important to double-check with the company. Do not forget that you need to follow the Government guidelines of your country as well as your destination country.
Here are two links that will help you to better understand our new rules as of 30/11/2021 as well as where to find the right travel test provider:
Green, amber, or red countries – what is required for me to do upon return to England?
Green countries: PCR test on return to the UK on or before day 2 with the necessity to self-isolate until you receive your test results. If the result is negative, you do not need to self-isolate anymore.
Amber countries: PCR test on return to the UK on or before day 2 with the necessity to quarantine until you receive your test results. If the result is negative, you do not need to self-isolate anymore.
Red countries: Passengers will have to pay for a 10-day stay in a managed quarantine hotel, even if fully vaccinated, as well as book 2 COVID19 tests.
If not vaccinated:
Green countries: passengers do need to quarantine on their return home or in the place they are staying for 10 full days. 2 COVID19 tests required with the first to be taken on or before day 2 and the second on or after day 8.
Amber countries: passengers do need to quarantine on their return home or in the place they are staying for 10 full days. 2 COVID19 tests required with the first to be taken on or before day 2 and the second on or after day 8.
Red countries: Passengers will have to pay for a 10-day stay in a managed quarantine hotel as well as book 2 COVID19 tests.
I’ve been fully vaccinated (also known as “double jabbed”) and have the NHS app to prove it, do I need a PCR test or to quarantine?
As of the 30th of November 2021 and with the surge of the new Omicron variant, it is necessary for fully vaccinated travellers to book a PCR test for their return to the UK and to take it on or before day 2. You do not need to quarantine except if you're coming from a red list country.
My flight got cancelled but not my accommodation from my holiday package (and vice versa). What do I do?
According to ABTA, you have two options: either have a suitable flight rebooked or you can ask for a full refund.
My flight is still going, but my accommodation has been cancelled. What do I do?
Sadly, if your flight is still going, there is little you can do apart from rebooking at another date. This may have incurring fees depending on which airline you’re using. Make sure to read the terms and conditions.
For package holidays, check if they are ABTA protected. This kind of protection can ensure you get financial compensation or carry on with your holidays as planned as well as make a claim against one of its members.
I’ve been told by the NHS app to self-isolate before my flight, could I get a refund?
Unfortunately, if the flight is going ahead, you are unlikely to receive a refund, even though you cannot go as per government guidelines. However, some holiday companies such as Tui and Jet2 offer a “free rebooking”. This means that the admin fee will be waived, but you will still have to pay the price difference for rebooking.
Double-check what your airline’s rebooking conditions are. You can also find more in this article, including which best insurance to choose.
I want to cancel my flight. Does it mean I’ll have incurring fees?
It depends on the situation (see above) and also on the terms and conditions of the airline. Here’s a list of what airlines provide in terms of cancellation policies.
My flight has been cancelled by the airline. I’ve been proposed a voucher instead of a refund. Can I still get a refund?
Yes, it is your right to still ask for a refund, and it is even recommended. You can find more information in this article.
I’ve accepted a voucher upon cancellation of my flight. However, I’ve changed my mind and would like a refund. Can I still ask for one?
It depends. If you’ve been misled into accepting the voucher, i.e., the airline told you there was no other choice, then you can dispute this and claim a refund. If the airline still refuses, you can escalate the issue further. This is something we are very much used to daily at Customer Service Action, so feel free to use our services by clicking here. It is free to do so.
My country went from green to amber (or from amber to red) whilst I was on holiday. What should I do?
From green to amber, the guidelines stay the same: any international travellers need to take a PCR test on or before day 2 and self-isolate upon arrival until they receive their test results. It is different for red countries which require you to remain in a quarantine hotel for 10 days and book 2 PCR tests. Please bear in mind that if you arrived in England between midday 26 November and 4am 28 November and have been in any of the following countries in the previous 10 days, you must quarantine at home, or at alternative appropriate accommodation:
- South Africa
After this date, if you're coming back from one of the listed countries above, you will need to follow the regulations for red list countries which require you to pay for a quarantine hotel for 10 days as well as 2 PCR tests.
Some airlines may try to fly you home early but, other than that and if you can quarantine once back home, we recommend you stay put. If you cannot quarantine, you’ll likely have to book your own flight home which can become costly.
A member of my party cannot travel with us anymore. What should we do?
It is always best to check the terms and conditions of the airline and then speak to their customer service to see if something can be arranged.
I can’t get a hold of my airline or holiday company. What should I do?
We’re living in unprecedented times, and even though some companies may rely on COVID and lockdown to justify bad customer service, we need to remain aware of the struggle some call centres are facing. If you cannot get a hold of your flight or holiday company, please feel free to submit your issue here. We’re always glad to assist.