THOUSANDS of holidaymakers are still yet to cash in their Covid credit notes – and could lose their money if they don’t act soon.
Covid credit notes are vouchers that were issued to people whose holidays were cancelled as a result of the pandemic.
Holiday cancellations by travel companies were rampant during the pandemicCredit: Getty
Nearly £5billion worth of credit notes were issued in total.
But now, people have just months to cash the notes in if they want Air Travel Organiser’s Licence (ATOL) protection on their booking.
It comes as ATOL says it will no longer be protecting credit notes issued between March 10 2020 and December 19 2021, after September 30 this year.
The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), which is the UK’s aviation regulator, says there’s still £85million worth of unused credit notes still to be redeemed, according to Money Saving Expert.
Anyone who doesn’t redeem the vouchers by September 30, 2022 will lose protection if their travel company goes bust.
In this situation, a refund could be off the cards entirely, leaving holidaymakers out of pocket.
But note, expiry dates for Covid credit notes vary on an individual basis, so check yours in case the deadline to use it is sooner.
Similarly, terms and conditions surrounding how you redeem credit notes will likely change depending on the firm, so don’t forget to check these too.
Initially, vouchers were dished out by ATOL-protected travel companies as an alternative to cash refunds.
Though some holidaymakers still have time to use these to rebook another getaway or cash them in.
Michael Budge, head of ATOL at the UK Civil Aviation Authority, said: “As demand for travel continues to grow again, we want to make sure consumers are making the most of the financial protection available to them.
“If you have a refund credit note, make an ATOL protected booking or request a refund well before 30 September 2022 to avoid putting your money at risk.”
How to redeem your Covid credit note
If you’re yet to redeem your voucher, here’s what you could do to avoid losing your money.
Request a cash refund
If booking getaway isn’t possible by September 30, you can use your Covid credit note to request a cash refund from your travel company.
How the credit is refunded depends on the travel firm, so you should contact them directly to find out the specific details.
Book a holiday
You can book another holiday before midnight on September 30 to redeem the ATOL-protected credit note.
Look out for a box that allows you to input your voucher code when booking, and the value of your credit will be applied.
Before booking, check the T&Cs with your travel firm as some may let you redeem the code against multiple bookings, while others may only allow it to be used against one transaction.
Crucially, your voucher doesn’t entitle you to an ATOL-protected trip if the holiday your booking isn’t ATOL-protected outside of the voucher.
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