Britons who are issued refund credit notes for cancelled package holidays will get their money back even if a travel firm collapses, transport secretary Grant Shapps confirmed today. 

The Government will underwrite credit notes for customers whose trips are, or have been, disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic. 

The protection will be backdated to March 10 and will extend to September 30. Travellers will be able to cash in or use their refunds up until September 30, 2021. 

British holidaymakers are owed as much as £4.6 billion as a result of coronavirus cancellations, down from a peak of around £7 billion.  

“This news provides much-needed clarity for consumers, who should now feel confident that their money is secure if they have chosen to accept a refund credit note for their cancelled ATOL-protected booking,” said Paul Smith, consumer director at the Civil Aviation Authority.   

By law, customers who book package holidays are entitled to receive a cash refund for any cancellations by the tour operator. To maintain cash flow during the pandemic, some travel companies offered refund credit notes in lieu of cash refunds.

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