Spain coronavirus – How to get a refund on your holiday as Tui and Jet2 cancel hundreds of flights

JET2 and TUI have cancelled hundreds of flights to Spain as the coronavirus crisis continues to mount.

Yesterday, at least five flights were dramatically turned around in mid-air as the Spanish government announced a 15-day lockdown.

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The Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) has updated its travel advice to advise against travel to parts of mainland Spain.

Here's your rights to a refund if you have a holiday booked to Spain, as well as which insurers are paying out.

How to get the costs of your flights back

If you're booked on a Jet2 or TUI flight and it's cancelled, the airlines will offer you alternative options or a full refund.

JET2 says it is receiving a lot of calls and priority will be given to those due to depart within the next seven days.

TUI has only cancelled flights between March 14 and March 16 at the moment, but said it would contact customers due to travel between March 17 and March 23 on Monday.

It also confirmed that customers would be offered alternative arrangements or a refund.

If you're booked on a flight that isn't cancelled, but you don't want to fly – your rights will depend on where you are going and which airline you're using.

The FCO is now advising against all but essential travel to the capital Madrid, La Rioja and the municipalities of La Bastida, Vitoria and Miranda de Ebro.

If you're flying to one of these destinations, you should be able to get the cost of your travel back.

Try getting a refund from your provider first, but if that doesn't work you should be able to claim on insurance.

But you'll only be covered if the insurance was purchased before the FCO advice was changed.

Plenty of insurance providers stopped offering coronavirus cover after the World Health Organisation declared the crisis a pandemic on March 11.

This means you might not be covered if you booked last minute after then.

If you paid by credit card, you should be able to get the cash back through Section 75 laws as long as you paid between £100 and £20,000.

DESTINATION UNKNOWN: What's happening with my flight?

Jet2 this morning cancelled all its flights to Spain after the country announced a state of emergency over coronavirus.

So what are the other airlines doing? Will they follow suit?

British Airways

The airline confirmed it was not cancelling flights to Spain over coronavirus fears.

Instead, passengers will be allowed to change their destination, date of travel, or both for free, on all new bookings made from Tuesday 3 March to Sunday 31 May.

Any bookings that will depart up to May 31 will also be able to be changed.

easyJet

easyJet has not yet announced any drastic measures around flights to Spain.

However, the airline said passengers will be allowed to change their flight online without paying a change fee.

It also specified: "Where we’ve been required to cancel flights, customers will be able to transfer to an alternative flight free of charge or receive a refund"

Ryanair

The Irish airline will significantly scale back its operations on Monday over the coronavirus crisis.

The airline has already cancelled around 20 per cent of its flights for the period until 9th April but more changes are expected.

Similiarly to BA and easyJet, Ryanair has waived its change fee for those who wish to change their travel plans.

TUI

The tourism company today said that following local measures made to fight coronavirus, it had "made the difficult decision to cancel holidays due to travel between 14 and 16 March".

It said: "Although there is currently no advice from the UK Government against travelling to Spain it would not be the holiday experience we would want for our customers."

Holidaymarkers due to travel to Alicante between 14 March and 16 March will now be contacted to be offered alternative holiday options or a full-refund.

Any customers due to travel between 17 March and 23 March will be contacted about their holiday on Monday 16 March.

How to get the cost of your hotels back

Anyone who has booked TUI package and has their flight cancelled, should get back the full cost of the holiday including accommodation.

If you've booked flights and accommodation separately, you can organise replacement flights to continue with you holiday.

But if your flight is cancelled you might also be able to get the hotel and transfer costs back from the provider directly.

Contact the company you booked with in the first instance, but if that doesn't work you should try your insurer.

If you're travelling to an FCO 'at risk' area and you bought your insurance before the guidelines changed, you can claim.

If it's not an at-risk area it will depend on your policy smallprint.

Call your insurer and see what you can do.

If you paid by credit card, you can claim back hotel costs, transfers and other sunk costs under Section 75 rules.

My flight hasn't been cancelled – but I'm worried about travelling

If you're going to one of the areas that the FCO has warned against, you should be able to claim back both your hotel and your flights.

Start by cancelling with your provider and asking for a refund.

If that fails, put in an insurance claim – as long as you paid before the ban came in, you should be entitled to refund.

But if you're travelling to an area that is not yet 'at risk' you're unlikely to get your money back.

Insurers do not cover you for "disinclination to travel" which is when you change your mind.

But several tour operators have introduced more flexibility to encourage people to travel, so it's worth ringing up to see if you can rearrange your trip.

Lots of airlines are offering the chance to rebook your flight for another date and have waived the change fee.

Hotels are slightly more complicated as they usually set their own cancellation policies.

Get in contact with your accommodation provider, or the company you booked it through, to discuss your booking.

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