Finalised Guidance: Cancellations and refunds: Helping consumers with rights and routes to refunds

We are extending our temporary guidance to help firms understand our expectations when helping customers claiming refunds for cancelled events or travel arrangements. 

Since the outbreak of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, there has been an unprecedented number of cancellations of trips, holidays, and other events. 

In these circumstances, consumers are generally entitled to claim a refund from the travel or service provider. Consumers might also be able to make a claim with their credit or debit card provider or their travel insurer. 

This guidance is aimed at insurance providers as well as both credit and debit card providers. It is designed to ensure that these firms handle enquiries and claims from consumers in a way that minimises inconvenience to the consumer.  This guidance will also be of interest to consumer organisations. 

Read the Finalised Guidance (PDF)

Who this applies to 

This guidance applies to insurance, credit card and debit card providers. 

What we’ve done so far 

On 29 June 2020, we published 2 statements to help consumers understand their rights when claiming a refund for cancelled events or travel arrangements and outlined what we expected from firms. 

On 31 July 2020, we consulted on further guidance outlining our expectations for firms when helping customers who are trying to make claims.

We published our Final Guidance in October 2020, which lapses on 2 April 2021.

Given the ongoing impact of the pandemic and the ongoing uncertainty around upcoming trips and events, we consulted on extending our temporary guidance on 12 February 2021.

This closed on 26 February 2021 and we received 7 responses. All respondents agreed with the proposed extension, though had different views on how long it should be extended for. 

Next steps 

The guidance will take effect from 2 April 2021 and remain in place during the exceptional circumstances arising out of Covid-19 until varied or revoked.

We will keep this guidance under review as the wider situation relating to Covid-19 develops and will consider whether we should make the guidance permanent, either in its current form or with some changes to the guidance. We will engage with stakeholders as we consider these options. 

Page updates

01/04/2021: Information added Our guidance to help customers claim refunds for cancellations caused by the pandemic is extended.
12/02/2021: Information added February 2021 Guidance Consultation published