Can I get a refund if I cancel my holiday because of the heatwave in Europe?
18 July 2023, 12:23
British holidaymakers are rushing to cancel or postpone their summer holidays as the Cerberus anticyclone causes deadly temperatures in Europe – but what are your rights when cancelling?
The European heatwave is continuing to cause issues across Greece, Italy and Spain as the anticyclone – named Cerberus – causes temperatures to soar.
Holidaymakers have been attempting to either cancelling or postpone their summer holidays after the sweltering. temperatures were predicted to continue for at least another week.
The hottest temperature recorded of the heatwave has been 45C, with experts estimating the mercury could rise to 48.8C in parts of Italy and Greece.
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It is no wonder people are looking to refund their holidays – but what are your travel rights and will you get your money back if you do cancel?
According to trade association ABTA (Association of British Travel Agents), flights and holiday packages are continuing as normal.
Simon Calder, travel expert, appeared on Good Morning Britain this week, where he explained: "If you decide that actually – perhaps because you have a pre-existing medical condition, or maybe you're travelling with young people or you're an older traveller – I'm afraid they say normal terms and conditions apply and you will not be able to cancel without penalty."
Appearing on ITV News, travel expert Sally Gethin explained that people will not be entitled to refunds if they cancel their flights due to the heatwave.
This is because airlines are not liable for compensation if a trip is cancelled due to "factors beyond their control".
People have been encouraged, however, to get in contact directly with their travel provider as they may be able to offer some help.
"The amount of people that will be calling travel companies at this time is going to help sway your argument", Sally said: "Because it's a freak situation affecting so many, it's likely that travel companies and some airlines may in fact try and offer greater flexibility for their passengers on a goodwill basis."
Meanwhile, GoCompare.com travel expert Ceri McMillan advises that if you have pre-existing health conditions that put you at risk, you should check with your travel insurance provider as there "may be grounds for a claim".
She added: "It is also important to keep an eye on the foreign travel advice from the government, as you may also have grounds for a claim if they advise it as a place that is not safe to travel to. It is important to note that you won’t be covered if you travel against the government’s advice".
For holidaymakers still travelling abroad despite the heatwave, it is important to stay hydrated, apply sun cream regularly and avoid going out in the day when the sun is the strongest.
Travellers should also make sure they have travel insurance before they go on holiday as well as an in-date Global Health Insurance or European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) card.
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