Refund Credit Notes : are they still financially protected?
Unfortunately, as of the time of writing (2nd October 2020) we are yet to hear anything concrete to say if and when the Civil Aviation Authority will officially change their position regarding the issue of Refund Credit Notes (“RCNs”), however their current stance is that only RCNs that are issued in respect of ATOL protected bookings cancelled between 10 March 2020 and 30 September 2020 inclusive, due solely to the Covid-19 pandemic, are protected under the scheme.
So where does that leave us as of 2nd October? Can you still issue RCN for flight inclusive packages? Will these be protected under the ATOL scheme?
Only the CAA can say for sure, and we expect an announcement shortly. In the meantime, here at Travlaw, we think there is good cause to be optimistic in that:
Cause For Optimism?
- Here at Travlaw Towers we have long advocated that there is a good argument that the terms of the ATT Payment Policy suggest that protection will be in place (even if issued after 01/10/20) – this is something we were saying back at the start of the summer 2020 season when Summer bookings were being talked about;
- We are not the only ones – ABTA have similarly taken the view that the ATT policy encompasses RCN’s;
- Aside from the technicalities of it all, frankly it seems contrary to common sense principles for the CAA to have agreed explicitly that there would be protection for the Summer Season, only to rule out an extension to cover the Winter Season, at least.
We have been “banging the drum” for some time that this was going to be an issue – see our “Hot Topics In Travel Law” webinar for September 2020 (below).
So, what next?
All that said, we wait with bated breath to hear from the CAA on the matter, and understand that a formal statement should be made in the coming days. Until such a formal announcement is made, you must of course continue to do what you consider the best course of action as Directors and controlling minds of your business.
Should you have any further queries, or wish to discuss any of the above further, please contact any of the Travlaw team on
01132 580033 or advice@Travlaw.co.uk