We’re due to pay £27,000 for a January Sri Lanka trip – but can we visit? The Holiday Guru answers coronavirus-related traveller queries
The Holiday Guru is always on hand to answer your questions.
This week, he offers advice on travelling to Sri Lanka in early January and cancelling a British Airways fly-drive holiday to Tampa.
Q. My wife and I booked an Azure Collection holiday to Sri Lanka in early January for 19 days. We are due to pay the balance of £27,000 next week, having already paid a deposit of £2,895. Our flights are with Emirates, with a change in Dubai. Can we visit Sri Lanka and, if so, what pre-flight tests do we need for there and Dubai? Would we have to quarantine out there?
Tony Isaac, Surrey.
One reader asks if he will be able to visit Sri Lanka, pictured, in early January
A. Entry to Sri Lanka is currently ‘prohibited for all non-nationals’ according to the FCDO. Unless there is a change of circumstances, your trip will likely be cancelled.
Azure says you can have a refund of your deposit or transfer your cash for a future holiday. It’s best to talk to the travel agent you booked through and ask it to liaise with Azure.
Q. My partner and I are trying to get a £3,116 refund for a May cruise booked with Iglu Cruise to mark my 80th. Iglu told us on April 8 that the cruise was cancelled. The firm said it would take up to 90 days to get a refund. Then it said this would be with us by the end of September. We are still waiting. Can you help?
Peter Griffiths, Oldham, Gtr Manchester.
A. Your payment should be with you now. Iglu says that it had to wait for cruise companies and other suppliers to repay money before refunding customers, and blames the delay on this.
Q. I have been waiting 31 weeks for a refund from British Airways for a cancelled flight in March. I have phoned, used Twitter direct messages, emailed and complained via BA’s online form on more than 21 occasions. Since July, BA has advised that my case has been escalated, but there’s still no refund. Can you help?
Rebecca Worrall, by email.
One reader asks the guru for advice after claiming she has waited 31 weeks for a refund for cancelled British Airways flights
A. There was a complication with your bank details. BA says that it tried to pay but the transaction bounced. You should receive your refund this week.
Q. In January I booked and paid a deposit for a BA fly-drive in Tampa, Florida, for me and my wife, departing on December 29. The balance is due soon, but we do not wish to travel for health reasons so do not intend to pay.
We would like a travel voucher for our deposit. However, you can only cancel and receive a travel voucher as part of BA’s ‘book with confidence’ policy if you booked after March 3. Any advice?
Chris Zarzecki, Huddersfield, W. Yorks
A. British Airways says it has just got rid of its March 3 cut-off date — see the ‘Coronavirus travel and service updates’ page on ba.com and scroll to the ‘If you choose to cancel your booking’ section.
This happened so recently that the airline had yet to update its website. Thanks to your email, it now has. If you go through the usual procedure for requesting a travel voucher, you should be OK.
WE’RE HERE TO HELP
If you need advice, the Holiday Guru is here to answer your questions. Email them to email@example.com — and include your contact details and reference/booking numbers if referring to specific holidays. Unfortunately, we are unable to reply to every enquiry.