Holidays 2020: Expert issues major warning for Britons eyeing bargain summer deals

Holidays are back on the agenda for many Britons following the Government announcement of 59 countries that are now not subject to the UK Government’s quarantine rules. Holidaymakers will now be able to travel from the listed countries to England without the need for a 14-day quarantine period.

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In a bid to lure back customers, many travel firms and airlines are offering some impressive deals on flights and accommodation.

However, looking back at how quickly the coronavirus pandemic unfolded, many Britons might be concerned a second wave my strike and leave them with cancelled plans.

Emma Coulthurst, a travel commentator for holiday price comparison site TravelSupermaket, has shared some advice for Britons who might be anxious about booking a holiday.

“Leading tour operators have said that they will not take you on a package holiday to a country, where you have to quarantine, either on your arrival or on your return. They have said that they will cancel holidays in this situation and you would then be legally entitled to a refund,” she said.

Though package holiday firms are providing this assurance, the travel expert warned that many airlines are not.

“If you had booked a flight on its own and it wasn’t cancelled and went ahead, you won’t be able to get your money back unless you have ‘cancel for any reason’ as part of your travel insurance,” explained Ms Coulthurst.

“You will need to move your flight to a future date, in the hope that the FCO advice will not be in place for your rebooked date.

“Many of the airlines are waiving change fees at the moment due to the uncertainty.

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“But be aware that, to qualify for a free change, you often need to do it a certain number of days beforehand; in the case of easyJet, for example, it is 14 days before.

“Many airlines are also offering vouchers if you can’t fly.”

British Airways is also offering a “book with confidence” policy.

According to the airline’s website: “You can now change your travel dates and destination without incurring a change fee, giving you the flexibility to adapt to unforeseen circumstances.”

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The policy applies to bookings made up to August 31, 2020.

For Britons who are eager to snap up flight deals, Ms Coulthurst recommends using a credit card.

“If the item costs more than £100, you then have consumer protection under both the voluntary chargeback scheme (which is worth trying first) but also the Consumer Credit Act, Section 75 which means that the cardholder is jointly liable with the retailer for any goods and services not received,” advised the expert.

“It provides an extra route for getting your money back on any cancelled holidays or flights if you’re not getting it back from the provider.”

Ms Coulthurst also emphasises the importance of purchasing travel insurance as soon as you book your holiday.

“Back in March, a lot of providers removed themselves from the market, to review their stance and redevelop their policies.

“Now there are travel insurers selling policies again,” she said.

“Currently, there are around 12 providers on TravelSupermarket’s platform, who you can compare prices for and click through to buy policies with. And there are more policies going live every day.”

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