Need help with your booking?
With news around coronavirus (COVID-19) constantly changing, we understand that this is a stressful time for those with plans to travel. We value all our customers, however we are experiencing long call times presently. If you think your travel is affected, please only call us if you’re departing in the next seven days, to help us prioritise those with immediate travel arrangements.
We will continue to monitor the outbreak as it evolves and provide updates on this page.
As a priority, we will contact customers as soon as possible where travel plans are directly affected by the latest Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) travel advice, available here.
Indeed, please rest assured we are reaching out to everyone with departure dates in the next 14 days to rearrange your travel plans or provide a Refund Credit Note for all customers who wish to cancel their holiday. Flight Centre welcomes ABTA’s recent guidance for package travel bookings, which means Refund Credit Notes are now protected by ABTA/ATOL, where the original booking had that protection, right up to 31 March 2021 – plenty of time to dream about your next amazing travel experience!
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Information to Customers about Refund Credit Notes
What we’re all going through right now is unique – it has never happened to any of us in our lifetime. Our world is closed. Our customers and our people are all feeling the strain of this incredible change. We are working tirelessly to solve the needs of our customers and we wanted to give you some information about what we are doing.
As an independent travel agent (that means we don’t own the airlines you are flying with or the hotels you are staying in) we are reliant on your flights and/or hotel bookings being refunded by our partners. No doubt you will have heard the news that each and every one of these companies are struggling right now. This means we aren’t getting the money back from these partners as quickly as we would like.
Whilst our refund process may be taking longer than usual, the good news is that ABTA has provided an industry-wide mechanism to protect your holidays in the future and to save jobs across the travel industry. We invite you to take the time to read the open letter written by ABTA’s Chief Executive, Mark Tanzer, available here.
Whilst we are all waiting for the world to reopen, you can find some FAQs below that may answer some of your more specific questions:
Package Holiday Customers
Package Holiday Customers:
- Holidays travelling in the next 14 days are being cancelled.
- Holidays due to take place in August and have paid a deposit – we will be contacting you to discuss options.
We are continuously reviewing all other holidays and will update this information frequently.
If your holiday has been cancelled by us, you’ll receive a Refund Credit Note for the full value of your holiday. We understand that you may not be ready to book again just yet, so the Refund Credit Note gives you the flexibility to book your travel in the future. There have been some delays in issuing these due to changing industry guidance so please bear with us.
- Your Refund Credit Note will automatically be emailed to you, so you do not need to contact us to chase this.
- You will receive this within two weeks of us cancelling your holiday.
If your original booking was financially protected (this includes all package holidays), your Refund Credit Note will carry the same financial protection. You can therefore be confident that you have financial security.
If you’re unable to accept a Refund Credit Note you can apply for a refund. Due to the volume of holidays impacted, we’re asking you not to contact us until you receive your Refund Credit Note so we can continue helping customers in date order. However, if you do need to request a refund before this you can do so using the details below. Please be aware that our teams are incredibly busy, so call waiting times are considerably longer than usual.
You can call us on 0808 239 3993, 9am-5pm Monday-Friday (if your dates of travel are up to 7th July 2020).
Due to the volume of cancellations and the changing nature of industry guidance surrounding this new form of financial protection we have a backlog, but please bear with us. Our specialist teams know you are waiting and will get your Refund Credit Note to you as soon as possible.
You have the flexibility to use your Refund Credit Note until 31 March 2021, as we understand you may not be ready to think about your travel plans just yet.
We have created a central team of Refund Credit Note experts who are overseeing distribution and contact with ALL customers, so you do not need to contact your original booking Consultant for this. The Refund Credit Note will be emailed to you at the email address you supplied at the time of booking. The Refund Credit Note will usually be sent within 14 days from the date we cancel your holiday. However, we do have a backlog of these currently.
Many of our Consultants’ jobs have been protected by the government’s Job Retention Scheme so your Consultant might not be available right now. However, your details are held centrally so you do not need to worry. Please contact us on 0208 127 4273 if you have any queries, but please bear in mind we are currently prioritising bookings due to travel in the next 14 days.
Please call us on 0208 127 4273 to speak to our central team about redeeming your Refund Credit Note. They will be able to take you through the terms of this and will then pass you on to one of our highly trained travel experts to plan your much-needed holiday.
We’d like to reassure you that if you booked a financially protected holiday (including all package holidays), your Refund Credit Note will carry the same financial protection as your original holiday booking. You can therefore be confident that you have full financial security.
Yes, subject to any specific terms that may be applicable.
If you have a group booking the Refund Credit Note will be issued to the original person who booked the whole group.
If your alternative holiday is cancelled, you’ll receive a new Refund Credit Note to replace the same amount you spent from your original Refund Credit Note. The new Refund Credit Note will expire on 31 March 2021.
Please speak to your travel insurance provider and do check the terms and conditions of your policy.
We are now refunding hundreds of thousands of pounds to our customers every single day, but we know it’s not enough and we’re continually working on improving our processes and adding additional resource to speed this activity up. We won’t stop until we are able to refund packages within a 14 day period from cancellation and flight only bookings as soon as we receive the funds from the airline, thank you again for your patience while we catch up with the backlog and try to make things right for you.
With all this in mind, we need to inform you that your refund could take us up to 90 days to process. We are doing everything we can to get this to you sooner, but we want to manage your expectation at this moment in time. Please rest assured, you will get your money back and yet again, please accept our apologies on this as we know this is not good enough.
We expect bookings that were cancelled between 17th-31st March to be refunded by 31st July. We will then start to refund April, then May, then June bookings.
Flight Centre is working closely with airlines to do two things for the benefit of our customers:
- Provide cash refunds instead of credit vouchers
- Speed up the current time it is taking to process refunds.
In normal times refunds are processed nearly instantaneously. Due to the unprecedented and ongoing COVID-19 restrictions, many airlines have now stopped this instant refund process and reverted to an older, slower system. This means that refunds, if provided by airlines, may take up to 12 weeks for the airline to process after being approved.
As an agent for the airline, we are subject to their policies and timeframes. However, our teams are continuing to work with our contacts with all major airlines to ensure better outcomes for our customers.