Covid travel refund: how to get cancelled holiday vouchers, deadline to claim, and what you’ll get back

Almost £5 billion worth of vouchers were issued to people whose holidays were cancelled as a result of the Covid pandemic

Thousands of holidaymakers could lose out on getting refunds from holidays cancelled due to Covid if they don’t cash in on their vouchers soon.

Nearly £5 billion worth of credit notes, or vouchers, were issued to people whose holidays were cancelled as a result of the pandemic.

Sign up to our Travel Guide newsletter

Those who missed out on their holiday during the pandemic now have just months to claim the refund or rebook another trip using the voucher.

ATOL said it will no longer be protecting credit notes issued between 10 March 2020 and 19 December 2021, after 30 September this year.

When to redeem the Covid travel refund

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), the UK’s aviation regulator, says there is still £85 million worth of unused credit notes still to be redeemed, according to Money Saving Expert.

Anyone who does not redeem the vouchers by 30 September 2022 will lose protection if their travel company goes bust. In this situation, a refund could be off the cards entirely.

It is important to note that expiry dates for Covid credit notes vary on an individual basis, so you should check in case the deadline to use yours is sooner.

Similarly, terms and conditions surrounding how you redeem credit notes will likely change depending on the firm - so don’t forget to check these too.

What are the Covid travel vouchers?

The vouchers were initially dished out by ATOL-protected travel companies as an alternative to cash refunds.

Some holidaymakers still have time to use these to rebook another getaway or cash them in.

Michael Budge, head of ATOL at the UK Civil Aviation Authority, said: “As demand for travel continues to grow again, we want to make sure consumers are making the most of the financial protection available to them.

“If you have a refund credit note, make an ATOL protected booking or request a refund well before 30 September 2022 to avoid putting your money at risk.”

How do I redeem my Covid credit note?

Request a cash refund

You can use your Covid credit note to request a cash refund from your travel company.

How the credit is refunded depends on the travel firm, so you should contact them directly to find out the specific details.

Book a holiday

You can book another holiday before midnight on 30 September to redeem the ATOL-protected credit note.

Look out for a box that allows you to input your voucher code when booking and the value of your credit will be applied.

Before you book, make sure to check the terms and conditions with your travel firm as some may allow you to redeem the code against multiple bookings, while others will only allow it to be used against one transaction.

Crucially, your voucher does not entitle you to an ATOL-protected trip if the holiday you are booking is not ATOL-protected outside of the voucher.