Extension until end of September
ABTA has announced an extension to its current Refund Credit Note (RCN) regime, recognising the continuing impact of Covid-19 on the travel sector.
It said that the aim is to ensure that members have the option of issuing further ABTA-protected RCNs at a time when significant travel restrictions are still in place and member income is minimal.
ABTA-backed RCNs which have already been issued are valid only until the expiry date shown on them, which can be no later than March 31 2021. The new RCNs will be valid up to and including September 30 2021 at the latest. The deadline for issuing these RCNs is March 31 this year.
Refund Credit Notes work because customers are prepared to accept them as an alternative to an immediate refund and have confidence they will not ‘lose out’ in the long run. Maintaining the financial protection which backs RCNs is critical to keeping consumer confidence in them, and so that financial protection must be in place for the duration of an RCN’s validity.
John de Vial, ABTA’s director of membership and financial services said: “We have been speaking with the CAA about the importance of travel businesses having the option to offer customers a Refund Credit Note beyond the end of January, so we’re pleased they have responded to our calls and extended the deadline this week.
“At the same time, we have also been looking at our own Refund Credit Notes, which were valid until the end of January or March this year. Members will now have the option to issue Refund Credit Notes until the end of March with an expiry date of 30 September 2021. Full details, along with the criteria, can be found in the ABTA MemberZone. Hopefully this will help to ease some of the pressure on Members at this very difficult time, and will help to support consumer confidence.”