Refund Credit Notes issued by tour operators for cancelled holidays up to the end of January will be financially protected by the Civil Aviation Authority.
This means that if your tour operator goes bust leaving you with an unused credit note, you will be able to claim a refund from the CAA-managed ATOL scheme.
Previously, the CAA had pledged to protect credit notes issued only up to 31 December, but yesterday it agreed to extend protection to notes issued up to 31 January due to the ongoing Covid crisis.
However, it made it clear that customers should be offered cash refunds as an alternative, they should not be forced to accept a credit note if they’d prefer their money back. Under the terms of the Package Travel Regulations, holidaymakers should be refunded for cancelled holidays within 14 days, although during the pandemic companies have been taking much longer to refund.
If you do accept a Refund Credit Note, you are entitled to exchange it for cash and you should use it or cash it in before 30 September 2021 when the ATOL protection will expire.
A CAA spokesman said: “We are aware of the challenges the travel industry is facing, and we have therefore taken the exceptional decision to extend Atol protection for refund credit notes issued up to 31 January 2021.”