We appreciate that Coronavirus has made the future more uncertain, and this is as true of your holiday arrangements as anything else. We want to give you the confidence to book your holiday knowing that if something unforeseen comes along, we will be as flexible as possible in dealing with the situation. So, we’re making some changes to our Booking Terms & Conditions for any booking made after 1st July 2020.
In summary those changes are:
• Increased flexibility that allows you to postpone your trip for any reason (subject to unrecoverable costs), up until 45 days before departure.
• Greater flexibility, and waiving of amendment fees, if you postpone or make changes to your booking.
• Lower cancellation fees than our standard T&Cs as a result of cancellation due to Coronavirus.
• Non-refundable deposits reclaimable as a travel voucher (less unrecoverable costs), if you cancel up to 45 days before your trip – regardless of the reason.
• Lower fees for booking changes or a more generous refund for cancellations made by you within 45 days of departure if a travelling client, or one of their family members, is affected by Coronavirus.
The details and legalities…
Up to 45 days before departure.
- Changing your booking. At any point up until 45 days before departure you may change: a) the name(s) of those travelling on the trip; b) the destination of your trip; c) the departure date of your trip. We will waive the usual amendment fees; if the new trip is a different price and/or we incur unrecoverable costs through the changes, we will pass those additional charges on to you, or refund them to you, as appropriate. These changes can be made for any reason, it does not need to be Coronavirus-specific.
- Cancelling your booking. At any point up until 45 days before departure, you may cancel your trip and receive a credit note from us for the full value of all monies already paid to us, less any non-recoverable costs we incur through the cancellation. This credit note would need to be spent with us within a year of the issue date, for travel within two years of the issue date. This cancellation can be made for any reason, it does not need to be Coronavirus-specific.
Within 45 days of departure.
- Changing your booking. We will apply the same allowances as prior to 45 days outlined above; however most of our suppliers start charging greater cancellation fees within 45 days, rising as you approach departure. So the non-recoverable costs we pass on to you will rise. By keeping the same party names and same destination / itinerary, we can keep those costs down; changing party names and / or destinations will mean greater non-recoverable costs. Within 45 days the change would have to be due to Coronavirus to have these revised Terms & Conditions apply. We would need to see confirmation that your change is caused by Coronavirus, and it directly impacts one of the named travellers on the booking, or their immediate family.
- Cancelling your booking. If at any point up until your departure date you have to cancel your trip due to Coronavirus (e.g. because you are obliged to self-isolate, or contract the virus, and cannot travel, or a family member contracts the virus and you don’t wish to travel whilst they are ill), we will refund you everything except 50% of the deposit and any non-recoverable costs we incur through the cancellation. We would need to see confirmation that your cancellation is caused by Coronavirus, and it directly impacts one of the named travellers on the booking, or their immediate family.
A note on non-recoverable costs
- Usually, when a booking is cancelled our suppliers keep a varying amount of the cost of our arrangements back as a cancellation fee, based on a rising scale as the departure date approaches, and this is reflected in our sliding scale of cancellation charges in our Booking Terms & Conditions. In addition, certain suppliers, particularly airlines and boat operators, require a non-refundable payment to secure the booking at the time of deposit.
- Our suppliers are all allowing greater flexibility specifically in response to the Coronavirus crisis, and we’re negotiating cancellation fees on a case-by-case basis. Generally they don’t want to commit to a looser, formal cancellation policy, but at the moment we are almost always able to come to an arrangement with them which is more generous than their public position.
- This means that whilst we can’t commit to a fixed reduction in our cancellation charges, we can say that we will be able to recover, and refund, a greater proportion of the cost of your holiday should you have to cancel than is outlined in our Booking Terms & Conditions.
- When we provide a quote, alongside the deposit amount we will confirm the maximum amount of that deposit that will be non-recoverable in the event of a cancellation prior to the balance due date (10 weeks prior to departure). In some instances, we may require a top-up deposit prior to 10 weeks before departure, and we would confirm the non-recoverable costs at the time of that top-up deposit.
A note on Travel Insurance
- At this time it is more important than ever to ensure you take out a travel insurance policy at the time of booking, and that you have taken the time to understand exactly what your insurance covers.
- Ideally your cover should include, but not be limited to: medical, legal, cancellation, disruption, delay, and personal possession cover.
- Where Coronavirus is concerned, there is at the time of writing no insurer offering travel insurance with cover for cancellation or disruption due to Coronavirus, but the market is evolving quickly, and this may change. If you can secure this cover, this is very desirable.
- It is extremely important your cover does not exclude medical treatment whilst abroad for Coronavirus-related claims. If you fall ill with Coronavirus whilst travelling, you need to ensure your insurer will cover the associated costs otherwise you are liable for them. There are a small but growing number of insurers offering this cover.
If you have any questions regarding our flexibility guarantee or travel to a particular destination, don’t hesitate to give us a call on 01242 253 073. Our team of travel specialists are here to help.