Issued: 27 May 2020 – 10:00hrs
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Guidance
Due to the ongoing situation with COVID-19, the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) now advise against all but essential travel. Please see below on how we will be managing this:
CUSTOMERS DUE TO TRAVEL UP TO 30 JUNE 2020
We are making contact with customers who are due to depart within the NEXT 7 DAYS where we will advise their options, including moving holidays to a later date. We will be doing this on a rolling basis, prioritising those due to travel first.
If your holiday arrangements cannot go ahead due to the FCO advice regarding COVID-19, you will be able to amend without any amendment fees. Customers can rebook to travel any time up to the end of 2021.
If you are unsure about when you would like to travel, we will provide you with a refund credit note to the full value of your original booking, plus a gift voucher as a gesture of goodwill, which you will also be able to use on a future booking. For customers who have booked a package holiday, the refund credit note is fully protected by ABTA and ATOL meaning there is no risk that you will lose the money you have paid towards your cancelled holiday and indeed any new holiday booked using it will continue to be financially protected. If neither of these options work for you, then we can discuss your options when we get in touch.
CUSTOMERS DUE TO TRAVEL FROM 01 JULY 2020
We understand you will be concerned about your future arrangements. As we are sure you will appreciate, we are experiencing an extremely high volume of enquiries and our priority must be to manage bookings that are due to depart within the next 7 days. We are working closely with the guidelines offered by the FCO and our industry regulatory body, ABTA, to ensure we follow the latest advice. For clarity, we can direct you to https://www.abta.com/news/coronavirus-outbreak
We are therefore asking you to please be patient at this incredibly challenging time and hold off from contacting us for now. We can assure you that we are doing all we can, with limited staff, all of whom are now working from home. It will take time for us to manage this.
You can be assured that if your holiday is impacted, we will contact you in turn to discuss your options.
As mentioned, we are experiencing an extremely high volume of enquiries. We are taking measures to support our staff as they work tirelessly to make contact with our customers during this extraordinary time, including safe-guarding their heath by following our Government's advice on social interaction and containment. This means we will be reducing our opening hours to 10:00am to 1:00pm for the foreseeable future. This will allow our teams time to pro-actively contact those customers who are due to travel within the next 7 days. We appreciate this may not be convenient but we are sure you will understand why. Rest assured, we will be making contact with all customers impacted by the FCO travel restrictions.
If you would like further information, you can refer to https:// www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice > for information on your destination or by visit the consumer advice issued by ABTA - https://www.abta.com/news/coronavirus-outbreak
We thank you for your patience and understanding at this time.
Q: What happens if my travel plans are affected?
A: If the Foreign & Commonwealth Office advises against travel to a destination and your holiday arrangements have been affected, we will get in touch and advise you of the options open to you. Travellers are advised to read the Foreign & Commonwealth Office travel advice for the country they are travelling to, which includes a link through to the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC) TravelHealthPro website that provides specific travel health advice for countries.
Q: What are the options if we're advised we can't travel
A: If you've booked a package holiday with us, then you are protected under the Package Travel Regulations. If you have made your own arrangements, such as flights, car hire or airport parking, with a company other than James Villas, then you will need to speak to the service provider / airline you made the booking with. They will have their own policy in regard to how they manage these claims.
Q: I've booked Villa Only with James Villa Holidays. Am I protected?
A: Customers who have booked accommodation only with us are not protected by the Package Travel Regulations. If the travel advice changes for the destination you are travelling to and your planned arrangements can no longer go ahead, we will look at the options available to you. Where the FCO have not imposed restrictions on travel but local authorities have advised of local screening measures, you should contact your Travel Insurance provider to discuss your options.
Q: My balance is due for my summer holiday. Do I have to pay this?
A: Here at James Villa Holidays we understand this is a worrying time for everyone, with the uncertainty around what may happen with your travel plans. The FCO advice currently in place is for imminent travel and can change at any time. Whilst there is no legal definition of "imminent travel" it is generally considered to be within the next few days. If you have received your balance due request, this is because your holiday is expected to go ahead as scheduled, so you will still need to pay your balance. We appreciate that you may still be worried about paying this now, so we are currently offering customers extensions on their balance due date to nearer the day of departure.
You should be reassured that if the FCO advice means you are no longer able to travel, then you have the protections in place as detailed above, including the options to move your holiday to a later date.
Q: What if I decide I don't want to travel?
A: Our advice to customers with future bookings is to be patient. Whilst you can of course cancel your holiday, please be aware that if you are due to travel from 01 JULY 2020, you will need to wait as we have to prioritise those customers who are due to travel within the next 7 days. There may be a considerable delay in us getting back to you. You should also be aware that if some of your booked elements are still 'live', such as flights, then normal cancellation charges may apply.
Q: If I am unable to travel, am I entitled to compensation?
A: You won't be entitled to any compensation, as the reason for the holiday not continuing is outside the control of James Villa Holidays.
Q: I want to rebook my holiday. Will I be financially protected for the new booking?
A: When you book with James Villa Holidays, rest assured that your holiday will be fully protected through our ATOL and ABTA bonding. Our ATOL protects all customers booking a holiday with flights (package), whilst our ABTA bonding protects customers booking a holiday without flights. You can find out more here: https://www.jamesvillas.co.uk/about-james-villas/atol-abta-protection