New Easyjet Holidays 'Protection Promise' offers refund if you change your mind – is it any good?
Easyjet Holidays has launched a new 'Protection Promise', which lets customers who decide not to travel for any reason up to four weeks before departure get a full cash refund, aside from their deposit which will be returned to them as a credit voucher.
The policy, which launched this week and applies to future and existing bookings, also allows customers to pay nothing towards their holiday except a £60 per person deposit up until four weeks before departure.
The package holiday company says the Protection Promise will be ongoing, and that it has no plans to withdraw it once the coronavirus pandemic eases.
Holiday booking affected by the pandemic? See our Coronavirus Travel Rights guide for full help.
What is Easyjet Holidays promising?
Easyjet Holidays' price promise allows you to be flexible about your plans up to 28 days before departure. It does this in three ways:
- There's no requirement to pay the full balance until 28 days before departure. So you can choose to pay for your holiday in instalments with no fees, and you can pay nothing except for the £60 per person deposit until 28 days before you go.
- If you have paid, you can get a refund if you choose not to travel. If you decide not to go for any reason, then up until 28 days before you travel you can get a full refund, except for the £60 per person deposit.
The deposit will also be returned to you, but only as credit vouchers – these last for 12 months, but can be used to book holidays much further ahead. It's important to note that these credit vouchers AREN'T refund credit notes and so won't be protected by the ATOL scheme. This means that in the unlikely event of Easyjet Holidays going bust, anyone with vouchers wouldn't be able to claim the cash back.
- Or you can choose to change your holiday dates and destination. If you decide to go elsewhere, up until 28 days before departure you can change your dates or destination as you wish. If you choose a cheaper holiday, you'll simply pay for that rather than the one you originally booked – if it's more expensive, you'll pay more.
The Protection Promise also includes a guarantee that if you find the same holiday elsewhere, Easyjet Holidays will beat the price. Remember though that package holidays can always be haggled down – see our Cheap Package Holidays guide for more help.
The Protection Promise applies to all future bookings, but also to current bookings as well, as far as it's relevant. So if you booked a holiday last week that's due to take place in December, you'll be able to cancel it now, and receive a full refund (with your deposit as credit).
Is this Easyjet Holidays protection any good?
Right now, booking any kind of travel is a financially risky business, so it's important to weigh up what protection you have and if you could afford to lose what you're spending if the worst happened. That means, of course, that flexibility is key – which is why Easyjet Holidays have launched this and many may find it appealing.
Other package holiday firms do offer similar flexibility, at least on some trips. For example, Hays Travel – which was highly-rated in our recent travel refunds survey – offers free cancellation or amendments on some (though not all) holidays up to six weeks before travel. And other firms allow more limited changes – for example, Tui says customers who book with it between 23 July and 31 December 2020, for holidays due to depart up until 30 April 2021, can amend their trip without paying any fees.
Easyjet Holidays is offering this protection on an ongoing basis, rather than just for the near future, and it's allowing changes quite late, which will be attractive to many. Yet the fact that you only get your deposit back as a voucher – and one which isn't ATOL-protected at that – is definitely a downside.
Ultimately, when choosing a travel firm the protection won't be your only consideration – availability, what's on offer and price will also be key factors for many. But if you can find a holiday you want with Easyjet Holidays, this promise does offer a decent level of flexibility if you have to change your plans – and for those with existing bookings already, it's a real boon.