CAA and Abta reviewing extension of Refund Credit Notes

Abta and the CAA are reviewing the deadline for issuing new refund credit notes (RCNs) for cancelled package bookings due to expire on March 31.

The CAA and trustees of the Air Travel Trust fund guarantee RCNs issued for cancelled flight-based package holidays and Abta guarantees those for non-flight packages.

Mark Tanzer, Abta chief executive, confirmed: “We’re both reviewing the situation. At the moment, you can issue RCNs up to the end of March with redemption by the end of September.

“We’re looking at the [government] roadmap and the trading situation of members and we’ll make a decision about whether or not that [deadline] is extended.”

Four deadlines for issuing RCNs have so far been set, with the initial September 30 deadline last year first extended to December 31, then to January 31 and currently to March 31.

Tanzer said: “We’ll be looking at it very closely. I don’t want to predict how it’s going to come out. It’s about how quickly we expect the market to pick up.

“A lot of customers have had cash refunds. A lot have agreed to rebook for the spring and now may be rebooking.

“A huge amount of claims for refunds have been now been paid back to customers.”

He added: “A very large number of customers have understood the situation travel companies are in and have been prepared to stick with their travel organisers.

“That demonstrates the confidence people have in travel organisers. You would expect me to say that, but it’s true.”

Abta only extended the expiry date of RCNs for non-flight packages to September 30 on January 26. RCNs issued before the extension expire at the end of this month when a cash refund falls due.

Holders of RCNs for Atol bookings are also entitled to seek a refund at any point, but must receive cash upon expiry of the note on September 30.

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