ALMOST half a million Brits will lose the entire cost of their holidays to Spain due to the chaos caused by a Covid-19 travel ban.
Millions of trips were put a risk when Spain, the Canary and Balearic Islands were added to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s (FCO) no-go list.
Some 480,000 holidayers who have booked DIY trips to Spain are expected to lose thousands of pounds each this summer.
Only package holiday firms are required to offer full refunds if customers are unable to travel.
Holidays where flights and accommodation have been booked separately are not protected under Atol rules.
Despite the FCO warning Brits against non-essential travel in Spain, some airlines are still operating flights and refusing to refund customers.
Other airlines, including EasyJet, are giving passengers the option to change their flight without a fee or accept a voucher for the value of their booking.
It may also be possible to rearrange your accommodation booking.
Those who ignore the warnings or are unable to cancel or rearrange travel risk invalidating their insurance to avoid losing out on cash.
Rory Boland, editor of Which? Travel, said: “People face a difficult choice between flying, potentially putting their health at risk and invalidating their insurance, or losing their money.”
Package holiday firms are supposed to refund customers within 14 days but many are experiencing delays.
An Association of British Travel Insurers (ABTA) spokesperson said: “Travel businesses are currently operating in exceptionally difficult circumstances, with higher volumes of enquiries and often with fewer staff, and because of this it may take longer to process refunds, which is understandably frustrating for customers.”
Experts advise package holiday customers to chase their bank for a refund.
Martyn James, consumer expert from Resolver, said: “If you are unable to get a refund for a package holiday to Spain then you may be able to ask your card or debit company to chargeback the payment.”
Holidaymakers returning from Spain must now quarantine for 14 days, or risk a £1,000 fine.
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