Urgent warning to anyone who had holiday refunded due to Covid

Holidaymakers given a voucher for trips cancelled due to the pandemic are being warned to act fast to avoid losing out. A total of £85million-worth of holiday vouchers remain unspent and credit notes will soon lose their financial protection, according to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

© Birmingham Mail Passengers arriving at Birmingham Airport

Vouchers issued between March 10, 2020 and December 19, 2021 are covered by the ATOL scheme, which means holders will not lose out if the company they booked with goes bust. But this protection expires on September 30 this year.

Credit notes can be put towards the cost of a new holiday or exchanged for cash, the Echo reports. Michael Budge, head of ATOL, which is run by the CAA, urged people to “make the most” of the financial protection available to them.

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“Millions of holidaymakers have missed out on travel over the past two years, with many being offered refund credit notes during the pandemic,” he said. “As demand for travel continues to grow again, we want to make sure consumers are making the most of the financial protection available to them.

“If you have a refund credit note, make an ATOL-protected booking or request a refund well before September 30 to avoid putting your money at risk.”

Consumers were legally entitled to cash refunds within 14 days for package holidays cancelled due to the virus crisis. But many travel firms offered credit notes as an alternative to help their cash flow during the widespread disruption.

Meanwhile, thousands of Brits looking to book their Hajj or Umrah pilgrimages this year are being warned about fake deals and unlicensed companies which have already led to tens of thousands of pounds being lost. A surge in bookings for travel to Mecca has prompted an alert from Civil Aviation Authority over an increasing trend in illegal and fake package offers.