People hoping for a holiday whose flights were cancelled are being urged to check their credit notes and vouchers to see when they expire.
The coronavirus lockdown has been a nightmare for travel companies, and thousands of passengers have been given vouchers as their flights were cancelled because of the pandemic.
Those vouchers usually come with a 12-month sell by date, and allowed customers to repeatedly rebook their trips, which meant airlines could avoid handing out refunds during the very difficult time.
However, holidays are still illegal, and are not expected to resume until Monday, May 17, at the earliest.
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The Mirror reports airlines have issued updates on whether their credit notes will be extended and what passengers need to do.
Rory Boland, consumer expert at Which? Travel, urged holidaymakers to check their vouchers and speak to their travel provider.
He said: “When thousands of holidays were cancelled last Spring, many people were given no option but to accept a refund credit note, on the assurance that these could eventually be exchanged for cash or used on a future holiday.
“But a year has nearly passed, and most of those with notes that are due to expire will likely now just want their money back.
“Given these customers have already loaned their money to holiday companies for a year, they cannot again be given the run-around on refunds.
“Anyone with a RCN that is due to expire should speak to their travel provider to exchange it for a cash refund. Some customers may be happy for the expiry date on their RCN to be extended, but holiday companies cannot assume this without giving travellers the option of a refund first.”
The company’s website says all its vouchers have a six-month expiry, which has not changed during the pandemic.
In October, 2020 the company started issuing refunds instead of vouchers.
What this means is that most vouchers are likely to have expired.
Passengers can still contact both Jet2 and Jet2Holidays. for a full refund.
More information can be found here.
All BA vouchers that have been issued to its customers are are valid until April 2023.
However, the trip must be completed before April 30, 2023, but can be used on any route.
The BA website says the following bookings are eligible for a voucher:
Bookings made prior to 3 March 2020 for journeys that are due to have started by 28 February 2021
Bookings made from 3 March 2020 onwards for journeys that are due to have been completed by 30 April 2022
However, if your flight has been cancelled you are eligible for a voucher, regardless of your booking or travel dates.
easyJet is still offering vouchers to those affected by cancellations.
However, those have changed, meaning vouchers ending after June 30 will now be extended for six months.
The airline clairified that flights are able to be booked up until September 2022, and while customers should use the voucher before expiry this doesn’t mean the flight has to be within that window.
They also do not have to be on the same route as any previous trips.
Vouchers from Ryanair also have a 12-months limit.
However, the company has extended all its credit notes until the end of December 2021.
The Irish airline said: “In response to customer demand, Ryanair travel vouchers (from Covid-19 cancellations) have been automatically extended allowing customers to book Ryanair flights up until December 2021.”
Tui is another travel giant that has stopped the use of credit notes, and instead will offer cash vouchers from the end of this month.
People who already have vouchers will have until the end of September 2021 to book another holiday.
They can book trips between May 17 and October 31, 2022.
However, anyone who doesn’t use their voucher by this date will be issued with a full cash refund instead.