Abta’s chief executive has written an open letter to customers of its members to explain the current situation around refunds and ask for their support.
Published today in the national press, the letter explains how international travel has been brought to a complete standstill by government measures to contain the pandemic and that this has led to hundreds of thousands of holidays being affected.
It expresses sympathy for customers who have asked for a refund and may feel frustrated and concerned at the amount of time it is taking.
Mark Tanzer said: “Travel agents and operators are working extremely hard in the most trying of circumstances to do their best for their customers. But many travel companies are unable to provide immediate cash refunds.
“It’s in nobody’s interests for normally healthy travel businesses to go under. As well as the loss of thousands of jobs, the government-backed Atol financial protection scheme would be overwhelmed by a large-scale failure of businesses and it would take many more months for customers to get a refund.
“In the absence of government action, Abta has developed a regulatory framework for financially-protected refunds for its members and their customers.”
Last week Abta published updated information on its website for customers on why delays to refunds for package holidays may be occurring, and on how the system of Refund Credit Notes works.