Got a credit note from a Covid-19 cancelled package holiday? Use it TODAY or you will lose valuable extra protection
If you have an unused credit note from a package holiday that was cancelled due to the pandemic, you should redeem it or cash it in by the end of today (30 September 2022). If you don't you risk losing valuable protection if the firm that issued it goes bust.
Regulator the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said there's £30 million-worth of unused credit notes still to be redeemed.
Expiry dates on the credit notes themselves will vary depending on the issuing travel firm. But the CAA, which runs the financial protection scheme for package holidays - the Air Travel Organiser's Licence (ATOL) - says after today (30 September) it will no longer protect credit notes issued between 10 March 2020 and 19 December 2021. Credit notes were only issued between these periods.
If you don't book a trip using the credit note or swap it for cash by this deadline (see below for more on how to do this), the credit note itself will no longer be ATOL protected. This means that if the travel company that issued the note goes bust after 30 September, you'll become one of many people and companies owed money by the firm, and you'll have no guarantee of getting your money back.
Credit notes were initially issued by travel firms when holidays were cancelled due to the Covid-19 crisis. For more info, see our Coronavirus Travel Rights guide, which also includes help on airline issued credit notes for flight-only bookings.
How to redeem or cash in your credit note
To avoid losing this extra protection, either:
- Book a new holiday before 11:59pm on 30 September 2022. You need to book before this date, but the holiday itself can usually take place afterwards. During booking, you should see a box titled "refund credit code" (or something similar). Enter your credit note details into this box and any value will be applied at the checkout.
Just remember that each travel company will have different terms and conditions in place surrounding how you redeem their credit notes. For example, some may let you use your credit note across multiple bookings, while others will only allow you to redeem the value in one transaction.
Also be aware that if you use your credit note to make a new booking, that trip will only be ATOL-protected if it would have been anyway.
If you redeem the credit note on a booking that wouldn't usually be ATOL-protected, your new booking WON'T be ATOL-protected.
- Request a cash refund by 11:59pm on 30 September 2022. If you won't or can't redeem the credit note by 30 September, you can request a cash refund from your travel provider. How the credit note will be refunded varies by travel firm, so it's best to check with the company you booked with, but most will refund you via the same method of payment you used when the holiday was first booked.