From renewing travel insurance to rebooking cancelled Ryanair flights: The Holiday Guru answers traveller queries
The Holiday Guru is always on hand to answer your questions.
This week issues tackled include getting refunds on ferry travel, renewing travel insurance, claiming money back from Tui and rebooking cancelled Ryanair flights.
Q. Our Isle of Wight holiday park cancelled our booking (and is offering a full refund). But Red Funnel, the ferry company, will only refund 50 per cent of our sailing costs and are withholding the rest for re-booking before December 31. After this, they say they will keep the cash. Can they do this?
Sharon Lee, via email.
One reader asks how she can claim a full refund for a ferry sailing to the Isle of Wight, pictured
A. Red Funnel changed its terms and conditions this year to allow customers to re-book for travel any time until the end of 2021, although bookings must be made before the end of this year. It has adopted this system because it is a ‘lifeline service’ for key workers on the island and requires revenue to maintain operations.
Customers who have no prospect of future travel owing to health or financial reasons, can email firstname.lastname@example.org to request full refunds, supplying original booking numbers and supporting information. Responses will be provided within 28 days.
Q. I always buy multi-trip annual travel insurance and my current policy expires next month. I just rearranged a golf holiday in Portugal for next April. Is there any point in renewing the policy now?
Graham Yeoman, Cairneyhill, Dunfermline.
A No. With the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advising against non-essential travel at the moment, any policy would be invalid until that changes.
Q. Do you know why Tui/First Choice has deducted £50 from my refund for a coronavirus-cancelled trip in April?
Jacqueline Smith, via email.
A. Tui, which owns the tour operator First Choice, says that £50 of your booking was made with a card that has now expired — hence being ‘unable to immediately refund this amount’. The extra money will be returned within 14 days.
Q. Earlier this year we went on a Travelsphere trip to New Zealand that had a four-day add-on to the Cook Islands. This last part was cancelled due to coronavirus and we flew back from New Zealand after an extra four days there. We are seeking a refund for this lost Cook Islands holiday but have been told to use our travel insurance. Can you help?
Terry Lavey, via email.
Another reader asks if he can claim a refund for a cancelled trip to the Cook Islands, pictured
A. Under the Package Travel Regulations (PTRs) you are due a refund within 14 days. Travelsphere says it has been inundated with such requests due to the ‘unprecedented’ times and is about to get to yours.
The repayment is due in the next two or three weeks. You should only have been asked to use travel insurance to cover the hotel for one of the extra nights in New Zealand. Under the PTRs (section 15), three nights are free.
Q. We have been given a voucher for a cancelled Ryanair flight. If we re-book, will we have to pay more if the future flight price has risen?
Amy Singer, via email.
A No. Ryanair says that when a flight is cancelled, customers can move to another one (different date but same route) for free.
Q. I booked a week’s Villa Plus holiday in Zakynthos in July, paying a £2,000 deposit. We are over 70, we did not pay the final balance of £3,000 three weeks ago owing to virus fears. Villa Plus cancelled my holiday but will not return the deposit. Can we recoup losses or defer till next year?
Richard Draycott, via email.
A. Tour operators are not legally obliged to refund deposits to customers who have a ‘disinclination to travel’. Ask the company if you can switch at least some of the deposit to a 2021 booking.
If you need advice, the Holiday Guru is here to answer your questions. Please send them to email@example.com — and include your contact details.