After appearing before the government’s transport committee on Wednesday (6 May), Abta chief executive Mark Tanzer has called on ministers to publicly address the refunds crisis in travel.
Abta welcomes the transport committee’s work to understand the situation facing different types of travel business and their customers.
Travel agents and tour operators are facing different challenges to airlines, and we urgently need government intervention and guidance in a number of areas, including refunds, furloughing and travel insurance.
The coronavirus crisis has meant hundreds of thousands of package holidays have been simultaneously cancelled. While many customers are rebooking their holidays for a future date, some would prefer a refund, which is their right under package travel regulations.
However, the regulations were never designed for a crisis of this nature and scale and many businesses are unable to deliver immediate refunds.
Tour operators have not received money back from suppliers such as airlines and hotels and are unable to meet a 14-day window for refunding a package holiday, and have therefore been asking customers for more time.