Did COVID-19 Cancel Your Vacation? Have you accepted a refund credit note?

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UK holidaymakers with ‘credit score reimbursement’ vouchers are urged to use them before losing financial protection.

According to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), there are more than £ 130million in unused credit vouchers for vacations that were canceled during the pandemic. Britons are now being urged to use the vouchers for another holiday or redeem them for a cash refund before September 30, or risk losing their money.

Usually, when a package trip is canceled, the tour operator is legally required to reimburse passengers within 14 days of the cancellation. However, last March, after the coronavirus pandemic cut off all international travel, many travel agencies offered customers whose trips had been canceled a “Refund Credit Note” (RCN) as an alternative to a refund. in cash and a way to reduce the financial impact on companies’ finances.

Many customers accepted RCNs because they offered an easy way to rebook a vacation or request cash back at a later date. It also provided peace of mind that clients’ finances were protected if the company they booked their trip with went bankrupt.

However, from December 20, 2021, travel agencies will no longer be able to offer RCNs protected by Atol for canceled holidays. In addition, the financial protection of existing vouchers will end on September 30, 2022. This means that from December 20, 2021, travel agencies will only offer customers a refund if their trip is canceled. Additionally, anyone who accepts a voucher instead of a cash refund will not have the financial protection RCN once offered.

Anyone with an RCN should use it before its expiration date, as not all travel insurance providers will accept claims for unused vouchers. Whether travelers can claim unused vouchers through their insurance will depend on the provider and their terms and conditions. When coverage is available, travelers may be asked to show proof from their tour operator that vouchers do not and cannot be used. In addition, some insurers may only review claims for unused vouchers if there is a specific reason why the vouchers cannot be used during the validity period. For example, this could be when a client has received a new medical diagnosis and cannot travel abroad before the voucher expires.

Also, it should be noted that anyone wishing to use their RCN to book a vacation should check if they still have travel insurance to protect their trip. Travelers with an annual or multi-trip policy should continue to be covered for all trips until their policy expires. However, once the policy expires, the protection will no longer be in place. This means that if a new travel reservation is made after the policy expiration date, travelers will need to purchase a new policy to ensure they are fully protected.


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