Package holidays are an easy and secure option during the volatile times we live in. It can be tricky to keep up with what the popular tour operators are doing when each has a different stance towards cancelling getaways. This is what you need to know about providers TUI Holidays, easyJet Holidays, British Airways Holidays, Jet2 Holidays and Virgin Holidays.
TUI have axed all holidays until May 17 following the news from the Government last week that international travel cannot restart until this date at the earliest.
“In line with the UK Government’s latest lockdown announcement, we will not be operating any holidays departing from England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland up to and including May 16, or any holidays departing from the Republic of Ireland (ROI) up to and including April 5,” said TUI in a statement today.
Those affected by the news will be contacted and provided with their options.
“We will be contacting impacted customers directly, in departure date order, by March 5 to discuss their options, which will include amending to a later date with an incentive, receiving a refund credit note with an incentive or cancelling and receiving a full refund.
“Due to the high volume of customers that are impacted we kindly ask that you wait until you receive the email from us before getting in touch.
“We know our customers are looking forward to their holidays, so to offer continued flexibility and reassurance, we have extended our free changes policy to the end of June.
“Those due to travel between May 17 and the end of June can change their booking to a later date fee-free through Manage My Booking.”
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easyJet holidays has cancelled all package holidays up to and including March 24 in line with current lockdown and travel restrictions.
The airline has not yet said whether any holidays will be impacted beyond this point.
Customers who have had their holiday cancelled by the operator will be contacted directly and provided with three options.
They may either rebook their holiday for a new date and destination, accept a voucher that can be used towards further travel or request a full cash refund.
easyJet has said it is aiming to provide refunds in “an average of 12 days”.
easyJet holidays said: “With safety and enjoyment front of mind we will cancel any holidays where the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) advises against all but essential travel.
“We’re constantly reviewing bookings ahead of planned travel dates to give holidays as great a chance as possible to go ahead. If it’s likely your holiday will be impacted we’ll be in touch to discuss your options, and unless you’ve already taken action to cancel or change your booking, we will make a carefully considered decision on whether your holiday is able to go ahead in the week leading up to your departure date.
“Even where the FCDO advice permits travel, if at the point of departure there is a known requirement for routine quarantine or self-isolation on arrival in your holiday destination, our standard response is that we’ll cancel your holiday.
“If it’s likely that your holiday will be impacted by these restrictions, we’ll get in touch no later than a week before your planned departure date.”
British Airways is operating a “reduced” and “dynamic” service which means holidays and flights could change at any time.
The airline has cancelled its scheduled package holidays up to and including March 15.
A British Airways spokesperson told Express.co.uk: “If we cannot fulfil a holiday, we’re committed to ensuring customers receive a full refund within 14 days.
“Customers who are unable to travel, or choose not to, can continue to change their holiday without a change fee, or request a voucher for future use.”
The airline is currently in the process of contacting all customers who had a package holiday booked on or before March 15.
On the British Airways website, it explains: “If your flight is cancelled, please rest assured that we’ll contact you.”
As phone lines are busy, passengers are requested only to call if they are flying within the next 72 hours.
Virgin has likewise cancelled all its holidays until May 17.
“The UK Government has confirmed that restrictions will remain for the near future, easing no earlier than May 17, 2021, which means that unfortunately, we’ll be cancelling all holidays up to and including May 16, 2021,” said Virgin Holidays in a statement.
Customers will be contacted in departure date order and informed of the options available.
“This will be on a rolling basis and so far we’ve contacted customers due to depart up to and including March 21, 2021,” said Virgin.
“If you haven’t heard from us just yet, please don’t worry as we will be in touch. We’re grateful for all our customers’ patience as we contact everyone affected.
Holidaymakers should wait to be contacted and not get in touch with Virgin.
Virgin Holidays said: “To simplify the options and to provide immediate peace of mind, all customers whose holidays will no longer be going ahead will be provided with an ATOL-protected digital voucher for the value of their trip, redeemable up until September 30, 2021, which can be used to rebook a holiday, giving you the time and flexibility to decide what to do next.
“The digital voucher can be redeemed for any holiday on sale through to April 30, 2023. This can either be to the same destination or we can look at alternatives, as well as different times of the year.
“Of course, customers with a cancelled holiday will also be able to request a refund at any time via Manage my Booking.”