Insurance issues for a trip to India and claiming money back from a collapsed firm: The Holiday Guru answers traveller queries
The Holiday Guru is always on hand to answer your questions.
This week issues tackled include claiming money back from collapsed firm Shearings and securing payouts for cancelled trips by aeroplane.
Q I have paid for a four-day holiday with Shearings, staying at one of its hotels. After lockdown began, it offered me either a voucher or the chance to re-book for another time. I chose a voucher. Now it has collapsed — how do I get my money back? Edward Perkin, via email.
The Holiday Guru explains how to claim refunds from collapsed firm Shearings
A Those with credit notes issued since the lockdown began can claim refunds. Follow the instructions under the ‘Package holiday bookings’ section at shearings.com.
Q I was due to fly to India with Wildlife Tours on March 18, but the Indian Government suspended visas due to the coronavirus. The tour was cancelled, but Staysure, my insurer, will not pay out. Margaret Tabner, via email.
A Under the Package Travel Regulations you are due repayment from your tour operator within 14 days of cancellation. However, Wildlife Tours is an independent company that asks customers to take out insurance with ‘travel disruption’ cover as it is ‘not big enough to give refunds’.
Travel insurance payouts have been a big issue during the coronavirus crisis. But the Holiday Guru can help
You did not pay by credit card, so cannot claim from your credit card company. In such circumstances, travel insurance usually kicks in. Staysure initially would not agree to a refund as it was a foreign government that affected the trip. However, it has changed its mind on appeal.
Q I booked a package deal to Spain departing June 24 with superescapes.co.uk and paid £503 upfront, with a balance of £327 due on May 1. I tried to call and go online to pay the balance so I would be covered for a refund under the Package Travel Regulations in the likely case of cancellation, but was unable to do so.
Tonya Bailey, via email.
A This is frustrating, as failure to pay a balance is effectively cancelling a trip, which would mean that you’d have lost the £503. We contacted superescapes.co.uk, which said there had been a misunderstanding. It will contact you.
Q In March, I booked four plane tickets from London to Dhaka, Bangladesh, through a travel agent. Due to the current situation, I will not be able to travel. Am I due a full refund?
Muhammed Azim Rahman, via email.
A Yes, but you must wait for the flights to be officially cancelled. Under the Package Travel Regulations you are due a refund within 14 days of notification of cancellation.
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If you need advice, the Holiday Guru is here to help. Send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org — and include contact details.