Many of us have a holiday booked with Loveholidays for the next few months. With the uncertainty around Covid-19, what rules apply? Can you cancel? Who refunds you? What are your options?

Bookings made with Loveholidays are one of the booking companies whose ‘need to knows’ are covered in our booking flights and hotels separately guide. Most of the email questions we are getting are from Loveholidays customers so this is a COVID special guide and also applies to all other booking sites like Expedia etc

What is a cancelled flight, you’ll be suprised? Read our how to get a refund for a cancelled flight article.

Did you book a holiday consisting of flight and hotel with Loveholidays ?

If your holiday is made up of a flight and hotel then this applies to you. If you just booked a flight, or just accommodation, or even a flight one day and added the hotel the next day then this does not apply.

If you booked flight only or hotel only.

Flight only bookings are ATOL protected and you are entitled to a full refund from Loveholidays if your flight is cancelled.

Accommodation only bookings. If these are non-refundable bookings then the non-refundable means that if YOU cancel then you are not entitled to a refund.

If Loveholidays cancel the accommodation then you are entitled to a refund. If the accommodation is not open for you to complete your holiday, this means that your booking must be cancelled by Loveholidays, and is considered cancelled, therefore a refund is due. The details regarding your refund are as for holidays below.

When am I entitled to a refund for my holiday?

  • You are entitled to a refund when your holiday is cancelled by Loveholidays
  • You are not entitled to a refund if you cancel your holiday yourself. So you need to wait until they cancel.

The Airline has cancelled my flight but Loveholidays have not cancelled my booking.

This is a common problem. You know the fight is cancelled by Ryanair or whoever but Loveholidays have not cancelled actually your holiday yet.

Until they cancel your holiday there is nothing you can do, except wait. Save yourself some stress, you are not going to get any answers by chasing them. You’ll just end up wasting hours trying to get through on the phone, or on twitter – frustrating and pointless.

Accept that you will hear a week or so before you are due to go.

Why don’t they just cancel the booking and give refunds?

The whole travel industry is collapsing, cashflow is non existent and all travel companies are trying to protect their businesses by keeping hold of the money they have, whilst having no income from new bookings for the foreseeable future.

They know the holidays are not going ahead but are not officially cancelling them until the last possible moment.

As soon as they cancel – the 14 days refund law is in force.

Beautiful-heart-shaped-Island-in-the-ocean-Mind-over-Money-matters

I have been told I need to rebook or accept vouchers.

  • Travel Companies are entitled to offer alternatives such as vouchers, to customers of cancelled bookings.
  • THEY MUST ALSO OFFER THE OPTION OF A CASH REFUND WITHIN 14 DAYS. This is the law.

Customers of Loveholidays have been told they can only rebook, accept a credit note or claim a refund in four months’ time.

They say they are acting within ABTAs guidelines. Which is true.

ABTA (The Association of British Travel Agents) are rightly concerned about the future of the travel industry and its members. They have advised its members to offer vouchers and alternatives wherever possible and they are pressing the Government to change the law and allow their members not to have to offer cash refunds.

The law still stands that a cash refund must be offered, and paid, within 14 days. This may change soon. But for now, you are entitled to a full refund from Loveholidays within 14 days.

Loveholidays are saying they need to wait for the Airline to refund them.

This is incorrect. You have booked through Loveholidays. Loveholidays must refund you.

They may be waiting for refunds from Airlines themselves but that is irrelevant.

You are entitled to a refund in full from Loveholidays within 14 days.

I can’t get through to Loveholidays to find out what is happening.

This is the same with many holiday Companies and it is a matter of keep trying however if you paid by credit card (even part of the amount) then just contact your card issuer and request a S75 refund. They will refund you if

  • If your holiday date has passed – so was clearly cancelled.
  • You have confirmation that your upcoming holiday is cancelled.

The credit card company will refund you with the note ‘ If the merchant does send us documentation to support the charge at a later date, we may reverse the credit on your account.’

So only do this is you have evidence that the holiday / flight is cancelled.

But Loveholidays still won’t offer a refund.

Some Companies are offering refunds when pushed, but the refunds are taking much longer than the allowed 14 days. We have been waiting for a refund from Virgin for our New York trip for over 2 months – they say allow 90 days! (Update did a S75 with Amex – Amex refunded in us in 3 days)

Loveholidays are not even offering refunds, it seems. There is no way to apply online and if you do manage to get through on the phone then you get fobbed off and cut off.

We understand the financial toll this is having on the industry and can only imagine the millions of refunds and changes that need to be processed. Many companies will not survive. By treating customers in this way means that even if they do survive, who would book with them again? Those vouchers will be worthless.

We have a holiday booked with Virgin Atlantic to Las Vegas in 5 weeks. Obviously that’s not going to happen but it has not been cancelled by Virgin yet so no refund is triggered. They offered us a rebook with no change fee but the exact same holiday next year is £2000 more and we have to pay the difference. Yes we would love to help out and rebook but for £2k more? No. We want our £3k refunded.

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So how do I get a refund for my cancelled holiday?

There are options if you really can’t get anywhere. The law may be on your side but the reality of this unprecedented situation means you can insist all you like but it may not help. You can try the following.

  • If you booked on credit card. Contact your card issuer and ask for a refund under Section 75 (S75) This is usually done pretty quickly though it’s taking weeks instead of days at the moment due to the sheer volume.
  • Contact your travel Insurer. They will refund, less the excess if you have the correct cover. Most insurances taken out before March will cover you for the COVID cancellation. They will not refund you if you can get refunded elsewhere (eg from Credit card)

I have paid a deposit and the balance is due, do I pay it?

If your holiday has been cancelled – and this includes the situation where the flight has definitely and undoubtedly been cancelled but you have not yet been ‘officially’ advised. Then this is what you can do.

Email the Company and include the following

Booking ref………

As my holiday has been cancelled by Loveholidays (or whoever you booked with), I am now, like many others, due a full refund.

Obviously means that the balance which was due on (insert date) is not now payable.

We appreciate you are very busy so it is understandable that Loveholidays have not contacted me yet to confirm this, or respond to my emails, or on twitter, or been able to answer the phone as you are dealing with imminent holiday issues.

Please confirm cancellation as soon as possible and advise of timescales for the refund of the deposit paid, which legally should be within 14 days.

Please also confirm that the balance will not be taken. This is not due and not authorised.

Looking forward to your quick response.

Then. Give it a week and contact your card issuer and request a S75 refund, or a chargeback if paid by debit card. Full info in our how to get a refund for your cancelled holiday guide here.

If your holiday has not been cancelled yet, what do you do?

This is a difficult choice. If your holiday has officially not been cancelled by Loveholidays. It’s a catch 22 situation that is nonsense.

The rules – which many companies are sticking to – state that if you do not pay the balance then you forfeit your deposit.

You (and they ) know that you will not be going on the holiday.

If they cancel it now they have to refund your deposit. They do not want to do this (or actually cannot in some cases) so they won’t cancel until the last minute.

If you do not pay the balance, that counts as you cancelling the holiday so you will forfeit the deposit.

If you pay the balance you will have to wait until they cancel and go through the whole energy draining drama of trying to get a refund. I suggest the following steps.

  • Call your credit card issuer and ask if they will refund your deposit, or if not, if they will refund the whole balance when it is cancelled. Some card issuers have been brilliant with this – refunding just the deposit. Most have at least confirmed that if you pay the balance, you will be refunded within weeks when cancelled.
  • Call your Insurer. Same as above, some have been happy to refund the deposit less the excess. Not ideal but it gives you peace of mind for a relatively small cost.

What if I didn’t pay the deposit by card, and don’t have insurance?

  • Pay the balance on a credit card – you will be eventually refunded ALL the cost, including the deposit
  • Contact Loveholidays (somehow) and ask them for a voucher for the deposit. Unlikely from Loveholidays but worth a try. Other travel companies are doing this.
  • Write off the deposit and chalk it up to experience.

What happens if my holiday is not cancelled but I don’t want to go?

It is pretty certain that May and June holidays will be cancelled but after that who knows? There are also instances where companies are not cancelling holidays if the flights are going ahead and the hotels are open- even if you can’t go. Sneaky and mean and will not be forgotten. This could leave you in a situation where you pay your balance and have to cancel the holiday yourself.

Can I claim on my holiday insurance if I decide to cancel?

This is where you will have to contact your insurer as terms and conditions vary. Have a read of our guides which cover travel insurance inclusions and cancellation info. However the only reasons you would be covered are;

  • Safety. The Foreign Office advises against travel to the Country
  • Money. You are now unemployed from a job you have been in for over 12 months.
  • Family / Health. You would be covered if you or a close family member is ill with a non pre-existing condition.

Also if you had COVID symptoms just before you were meant to travel, you could get a Medical certificate without going to the Doctors, and that would allow you to claim on your travel insurance.

Anyway, good luck, any questions, stick them in the comments below and then the answers will be there for all to see. Remember that you will get your money back, it will just take a while. Be patient.

They have taken the balance even though the holiday is cancelled.

Unfortunately this is happening alot too. If you cant get through to them then how was the payment made

  • Credit card – Get in tough with your issuer urgently. Tell them the payment was taken without permission. They will refund
  • Debit card – As above, contact your bank
  • By Direct Debit – Contact your bank, they will refund immediately under the direct debit guarantee

How do I book my next holiday?

Have a look around our site, we have plenty of ideas to help you Spend Smarter and Travel Smarter including:

Head on over to our about us page to find out about Mind over Money Matters, who we are and what our mission is.

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2 comments

  1. Fantastic article by Tracy.I,like many others was due to pay final balance on an upcoming holiday,even though flights had been cancelled and was obvious the package was not taking place.Sent the email as advised and within a few days,received response.Some days later,booking has been cancelled and now eligible for deposit refund.Thank you Tracy!

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