ABTA has confirmed that holidaymakers are entitled to a refund when the Foreign Office advises against non-essential travel.
This follows a refusal by two of ABTA’s biggest members to refund packages to Spain – Loveholidays and On the Beach.
In a statement, ABTA said: “Following recent representations made to ABTA concerning package holiday customers’ refund entitlement in the event of Foreign Office advice against all but essential travel to a destination, the ABTA Board has met and confirmed that customers should be offered a full refund in such circumstances.
“In accordance with the Articles of the Association, the Board agreed unanimously that ABTA members should offer refunds to their package holiday customers where the Foreign Office advises against travel at the time the customer is due to travel.”
However Loveholidays have hit back, saying: Many of the regulations governing travel refunds were implemented before COVID-19, and therefore were not designed to address the reality we, you, and the entire travel industry, are facing today.
“For example, despite the new UK Government advice regarding Spain, if flights operate and hotels are open, this advice doesn’t affect the terms and conditions of package holidays which would still be capable of being delivered under the relevant UK legislation, known as the Package Travel Regulations (PTRs).”
If a customer no longer wants to travel to Spain, Loveholidays will refund the hotel costs but not the flights if the flights are still operating.