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Cork Independent

Lifestyle & Leisure

Know your rights: Package holiday cancellations

Wednesday, 15th July, 2020 3:50pm

Q: I booked a package holiday in July. Can I get a refund or money back if I cancel?

A: Yes. There is specific advice about package holiday cancellations for holidays due to start before or after 20 July 2020.

Package holidays are treated differently to bookings for accommodation or flights on their own. A package holiday is a pre-arranged or customised holiday. It must last more than 24 hours or include an overnight stay. It is sold as a whole deal and can be made up of at least two elements, such as transport, accommodation, car rental or tourist services like tours and excursions.

If your package holiday is due to start:

* Before 20 July – you are entitled to a full refund. You do not have to pay a cancellation fee. The travel organiser can offer you a State-guaranteed refund credit note if they cannot offer you a cash refund.

* After 20 July – you are still entitled to cancel and can get a refund or a State-guaranteed refund credit note, but you may have to pay a cancellation fee.

* After 20 July and if the travel organiser has already cancelled the holiday – you are entitled to a full refund or a State-guaranteed refund credit note. You don’t have to pay a cancellation fee.

The State guarantee means that if your travel agent or tour operator goes out of business and cannot pay you back, your refund is protected. The refund credit note has a future date. You can exchange the note for a cash refund or book a replacement holiday by that date.

However, you do not have to accept a refund credit note. You can get a full refund or you can get a part refund and part cash. You also have the right to cancel your package holiday before the start of your holiday for free if there are ‘unavoidable and extraordinary circumstances’ such as disease or serious conditions at your destination.

If you are planning to travel abroad, you should follow the travel advice of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFA). You can use the DFA’s Travelwise app or you can phone DFA’s dedicated phone line on 01-6131733.

The Citizens Information phone service: call 0761-074000, Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm or visit citizensinformation.ie. Further information is available from the Citizens Information Service below.

Blackpool CIC: 076-1076890. Open Monday to Friday 10am-1pm and Monday to Thursday 2-4pm.

City Centre CIC, Cornmarket Street: 076-1076950. Open Monday to Friday 10am-4.30pm.

Hollyhill CIC: 076-1076850. Open Monday to Friday 10am-1pm and 2-4.30pm.

Mayfield CIC: 076-1076880. Open Monday to Friday 10am-1pm and Monday to Thursday 2-4pm.

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