Your legal rights if you have to cancel your honeymoon because of Coronavirus

01 Apr 2020

Gary Rycroft, chair of the Law Society’s digital assets working group and a consumer law expert, answers your most pressing questions concerning honeymoons and COVID-19

Image: Yoann Boyer via Unsplash

What are my rights if I have to cancel my honeymoon due to COVID-19?

This will very much depend on the timeline, whether it was your decision or not and the nature of your holiday. If your honeymoon is during the ‘lockdown’ or while the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) have advised against travel, then the good news is travel companies and airlines usually follow that advice.

So, if your flight or holiday is cancelled, you can expect a full refund. Do not accept vouchers in case the company which has issued them later goes under. Travel insurance may also pick up any other losses – depending on what the policy covers.

What if my honeymoon is set for later in the year?

If your honeymoon is set for a later date – for example July 2020 – the situation is very different. There is no automatic right to a refund and you may lose your deposit or more unless you have insurance which will cover it.

Those with honeymoons booked for later in the year should hold their nerve for now.

Does it matter what kind of honeymoon I’ve booked?

If you have booked a package holiday - where a tour operator organises and is responsible for linked parts of a holiday such as flights, airport transfer and accommodation - you have enhanced consumer rights.

If one part of the package cannot happen, all parts should be refunded. Also, package holidays are ATOL protected so if the business goes under, you are entitled to a refund.

By contrast, those who are independent travellers may not be able to fly because it is cancelled but may still have to pay for the hotel – again, unless their travel insurance covers the loss.

It’s always a good idea to take out or otherwise ensure you have travel insurance as soon as you book. From the moment of booking you have made a financial commitment and entered into contracts with businesses to supply various parts of your holiday.

If I cannot go when planned, is it better to postpone?

Yes, if that suits you. In normal circumstances, you may have to pay for this kind of variation of the original holiday contract but at present, holiday businesses should be more than happy to co-operate with you.

Will the location of the honeymoon be a factor?

Yes, it will be in terms of whether the FCO advises against travelling there or not, or indeed what the country’s own situation is with regards to open borders and lockdown.

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