‘Confused’ holidaymakers face losing thousands of pounds as firms continue to demand cash for trips that will likely not go ahead, according to reports.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock has warned that people are unlikely to be able to go on foreign breaks this summer, but multiple holiday companies are still reportedly delaying refunds to customers.
And with the Government set to introduce 14-day quarantine rules for passengers entering the country and the likes of RyanAir to restore 40% of its flights from July the situation is “incredibly confusing”, said Which? editor Rory Boland.
The consumer magazine chief explained many families who booked summer holidays months ago will be left with “expensive flights they can’t take and no way to get their money back”.
“Even if these flights are ultimately cancelled because the Government does not lift its advice against foreign travel, customers face a fight for their money from an airline that has already been breaking the law by delaying refunds for customers,” he said.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has advised against all but essential international travel since March 17, while domestic holidays are not allowed due to the Government’s lockdown orders issued six days later.
It comes following reports Boris Johnson has thrashed out a deal with French President Emmanuel Macron which would mean a 14-day quarantine period on return home can be bypassed in a bid to boost tourism.
According to reports, it is hoped the deal could lead to a three-way safety corridor for holidaymakers and businesses between the two nations, along with Ireland, as early as next month.
The Daily Mail reports scores of readers have told the newspaper they continue to be be pursued for payments for previously booked holidays they fear will never take place.
Essex pensioners Avril and Peter Brewer paid £1,075 last April for a package holiday to Florida in August through Virgin, with the remaining £13,091 due on May 20.
However, they say the customer service helpline will only entertain queries from those due to fly within the next 72 hours, with the terms and conditions stating if the deadline is missed the booking will be cancelled.
Virgin Holidays have since confirmed, however, that those travelling between June 1 and September 30 may now rebook holidays for free until December 31, deferring the balance payment due date.
Mr Hancock’s comments – made on ITV show This Morning – came just hours after Ryanair announced it will operate nearly 1,000 flights per day from July 1 subject to European countries lifting flight restrictions and “effective public health measures” being put in place at airports.
Olivier Jankovec, director general of airport trade association ACI Europe, said: “Europe’s airports are on their knees.
“If some air traffic and revenue generation capabilities are not restored in time for the peak summer months, we will see airports across Europe going bust, with a far-reaching domino effect upon local communities.”