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Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practising lawyer in England with over 15 years experience.
May I clarify - was this a package holiday as you refer to or just a flight - i.e. no accomodation as part of a package?
Thank you. The Package Travel and Linked Travel Arrangements Regulations 2018 provides that in the event the organiser of the holiday cancels, then it must make a full refund to you within 14 days. it is very much as simple as that if you have received confirmation that the holiday has been cancelled:
in terms of what you do if they refuse, this rather depends on how you paid for the holiday. The first thing in any event is to email the agents and refer them to regulation 14 of the above regulations and say that you look forward to a refund within 14 days of the date of cancellation.
If they refuse: if you paid the whole or any part of the holiday cost by credit card you can contact your credit card provider and asked them to carry out a chargeback. If you paid by debit card within the last 120 days you can do the same your bank however if you paid by debit card more than 120 days ago the bank may not be able to help. If you paid by bank transfer or made a payment on debit card more than hundred and 20 days ago so that your bank cannot assist, you would need to consider issuing proceedings in the County Court to recover your funds against the agent by using the courts online Issuing service www.moneyclaim.gov.uk. There will be a modest court fee to pay which you can recover when successful and you can also claim interest at 8% per annum.
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further to the above, I meant and subsequent forgot to mention that in this rather unprecedented time that we are presently living through, there has been a request by the travel industry to the European commission to suspend parts of the above regulations we discussed and in particular, the obligation to refund. in an effort to try to save at least some travel businesses, the commission has agreed in principle to do so in what is presently being proposed is that regulation 14 is temporarily suspended in favour of an obligation to offer a voucher that can be used to rebook holiday within 12-18 months and if the customer does not use does not wish to use the voucher, they are then entitled to a refund at the end of that period. This has not yet been adopted in the UK but it is my suspicion that it will be in the coming weeks as there is concern that huge parts of the travel industry will go under if they are forced to issue refunds en masse. Therefore, it may be sensible to act with as much speed as possible whilst the regulations are as they are.