Which? response to On the Beach resigning from Abta

Rory Boland, Editor of Which? Travel, said:

“Travel operators are facing a serious financial crisis but they are also facing a crisis of trust – and On the Beach’s actions will only further diminish confidence that it’s possible to book a holiday without the risk of losing your money.

“Anyone who has their hotel cancelled as part of a package holiday is due a refund for the full cost of the holiday under the Package Travel Regulations, but holidaymakers who decide not to travel because of government advice might struggle to get their money back.

“We would currently advise anyone against booking a holiday with any travel operator refusing to allow customers refunds in these circumstances and encourage people struggling to get a refund not to take no for an answer. If enough customers join us in telling On the Beach that its approach is unacceptable, the company may be forced to reconsider and pay up to those who are owed money.

“This situation has partly been brought about by airlines continuing to refuse refunds regardless of FCO advice. Which? has called on the government to offer support to holiday operators or airlines struggling due to the coronavirus pandemic – but this support should only be available to companies that are prepared to do the right thing and pay refunds to customers who can not travel due to government advice.”