Former Thomas Cook chief executive Harriet Green and ex-Gold Medal managing director Terry Fisher are among a handful of new, high profile supporters of Kane Pirie’s Right to Refund initiative.
The campaign, launched last week, initially called on travel businesses to honour their statutory obligations and provide refunds for cancellations resulting from the impacts of the coronavirus crisis within 14 days, as mandated by the Package Travel Regulations (PTRs).
However, this directly contravened Abta’s stance and guidance on the unprecedented situation; Abta is urging the government to ease the PTRs to allow travel sellers to provide clients protected "credit notes" instead of immediate refunds to retain cash and prevent widespread failures that would place pressures on the CAA and Atol fund.
Travel Republic co-founder Pirie, now managing director of Vivid Travel, last week softened the campaign’s stance to align it with Abta’s objectives, describing the association as the "de facto regulator" in the absence of government intervention.
However, announcing on Tuesday (15 April) the campaign had secured the support of four "industry leaders", most notably former Thomas Cook Group chief executive Harriet Green, Pirie said there was government support out there for businesses, and added "the tide was turning" in the debate.
Green and Fisher are joined by silversurfers.com chief executive Martin Lock; and non-executive director of the Air Charter Service Richard Carrick, in pledging their support for the campaign.