From passport applications to holiday refunds, we can help: The Holiday Guru answers traveller queries
The Holiday Guru is always on call to answer your questions.
This week issues tackled include holiday refunds, passport applications and booking hotels in Greece.
Q. My wife and I have flights to Athens in September. We have booked one night in a hotel in Piraeus and will then go island-hopping. Must we book hotels at all islands in advance to enter on Greece’s new Passenger Locator Form before going?
John Horner, Andover, Hants.
A. No. This form, which must be completed the day before travel, only requires the hotel for your first 24 hours. See travel.gov.gr.
Greece’s new Passenger Locator Form only requires you to provide the first hotel you’re staying at, says the Guru
Q. My husband and I fly to Tenerife in August, but the seating has been altered so we are no longer together. We need to pay £12 to fix this, but did this once before. I am a nervous flier and would like to sit by him. Can you help?
J. Magill, Sale, Gr. Manchester.
A. We contacted Jet2, but in the meantime you tried calling again, waiting three hours before getting through and having the seats changed for free. Why the wait? Jet2 did not get back to us in time to explain!
Q. My daughter is a front- line carer. She received acknowledgment of her passport application on March 26 but does not know when it will come. She has a trip to Spain on September 26. Any advice?
Roger Vincent-Silk, Malmesbury, Wilts.
A. Frustratingly, the Passport Office only says applications are being dealt with as quickly as possible. A spokesman said she should call 0300 222 0000 or complete the ‘Passport Advice and Complaints’ page of gov.uk, stressing the urgency. There is no prioritisation of the backlog, although those with ‘compassionate reasons’ such as a family death will be fast-tracked.
Q. In April our Bristol-Belfast easyJet flights were cancelled. We made a refund claim for £564 and were told this would come within 28 days. Despite numerous attempts to contact the airline, no luck. We are senior citizens and need the money.
Susan and Fred Slee, via email.
A. EasyJet has apologised, blaming the delay on the pandemic. It has refunded you, as it must by law within seven days (even though it took much longer). On receiving the refund, Mrs Slee said: ‘To be honest we did not expect to get anything at all.’
A reader asks the Guru if they can get their deposit back on a coach break in Cornwall
Q. In February I paid a £100 deposit to Skills Holidays for a five-day coach break in Cornwall in June, but did not pay the balance in May. Can I get my deposit back?
Lorraine Yeoman, via email.
A. It’s unlikely, sadly, as you effectively cancelled the trip before it was officially cancelled by the tour operator. Under the Package Travel Regulations, you would be due a refund if you had paid the final balance and waited for formal cancellation.
WE’RE HERE TO HELP
If you need advice, the Holiday Guru is here to answer your questions. Please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org — and include your contact details.