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Should I pay holiday balance?

(20 Posts)
IHaventStoppedCravingYet Wed 25-Mar-20 07:13:33

We booked via Travel Counsellors so I’m holding off contacting our travel agent for the moment as poor woman is swamped dealing with people due to travel imminently.

We are due to go to a villa in Spain for last couple of weeks in August 2020. Flights with Ryanair plus car hire all booked as a package. Deposit of c£1000 already paid (used credit card) and due to pay the balance of a couple more thousand at the start of may. Appreciate it won’t be clear for a while if we can actually travel then but would I be better to pay full balance and then try and get refunds or cut losses now? We arranged travel insurance when we booked with post office but I’m not totally clear from their website what we are covered for in relation to this! Any advice?

OP’s posts: |
GoBackToPartyCity Wed 25-Mar-20 07:15:41

I think you’d lose your deposit now if you didn’t pay the balance as there’s nothing in place stopping travel in August. I’d pay for the holiday and then wait to see what happens.

Wonkydonkey44 Wed 25-Mar-20 07:18:08

We are in the same boat , travelling on the same two weeks. We are paying our balance , fingers crossed we get to go but if not we get the money back .

Oughta Wed 25-Mar-20 07:23:48

I paid mine on Monday, travelling beginning of August. I figured I had to pay it or risk losing a hefty deposit. I rang the travel agents and they said someone will be in touch closer to the departure date and rearrange booking/issue refund if needed.

Now I'm stuck wondering when to buy passports.

Ikeameatballs Wed 25-Mar-20 07:24:29

I’m concerned about this.

I’ve got an expensive US holiday booked with trailfinders for July. I’ve paid about £750 but have a £5k balance to pay.

MargaretRiver Wed 25-Mar-20 07:28:03

I wouldn't throw good money after bad.
Travel insurances do not seem to be paying out if the cancellation is Coronavirus-related.

Oughta Wed 25-Mar-20 07:32:21

Surely ATOL protection means I will not lose out if the country is currently on a no fly list?

Patchworksack Wed 25-Mar-20 07:34:18

We're in the same position, due to pay balance for a very expensive trip to USA/Canada in July at the end of May. We have travel insurance that was bought before Covid and should cover us, but I don't feel confident about it. We'd happily defer to 2021 but we have been saving a long time for this, really don't want to lose the money. I think if we don't pay the balance we'll lose our substantial deposit, but it does feel like throwing good money after bad.

TheoneandObi Wed 25-Mar-20 07:35:24

If I'd paid 750, and owed 5k, I'd write off the 750. I've heard too many stories of people losing the whole lot lately. Friend was supposed to be travelling to Peru in May and has lost thousands.
But everyone's different.
I also definitely wouldnt be thinking of travelling to the US. I think they're going to be a long time coming out of this.

leafygarden Wed 25-Mar-20 07:36:03

@Ikeameatballs I don't know the answer, but I do know there's no way I'd be paying £5000 in these times.

Martin Lewis usually has good advice if you look at his website OP

CakeAndGin Wed 25-Mar-20 07:38:25

Even purchasing travel insurance when you did, you cancelling for none of the reasons listed in your policy (ours include death, injury, redundancy) is classed as disinclination to travel and is not a reason to claim on your travel insurance. The travel agents won’t have a firmer picture until much close to the time, so if you pay you will have to wait for them to cancel it. Most travel agents are allowing you to postpone though with no admin charge. So you can pay and then postpone closer to the time (if there are no money worries between now and then). Our holiday was at the beginning of May, our travel agent has cancelled all holidays until the end of April and our hotel has closed until the end of May. BA are also grounding a lot of their flights, so we might not be able to get out there and if we do, we have nowhere to stay. Oh, and even if those two were OK, the country isn’t letting anyone in who had been in the UK in the last 14 days. We aren’t going but still we’re waiting for a refund (not possible to postpone) and probably will be for a number of weeks yet. If you do pay the balance and things don’t improve, you might have a long wait and anxious wait for your holiday to be cancelled by the tour operator. You know your personal circumstances, money and job situations and your mental health situations. For some it’s easy to just lose the deposit but some need to wait it out to get the cancellation. FWIW if we hadn’t paid the full deposit, I’d be cancelling and losing the deposit (£680).

Ilikewinter Wed 25-Mar-20 07:42:55

I dont know if this is true or will happen but i saw an article the other day that mentioned changing the atol/abta rules that if your holiday is cancelled a tour operator will be able to only offer a transfer and not a refund - this is to try and help the travel industry.
We've got a holiday booked the the USA in May and im just hoping the airline cancel the flight in the hope we can get a refund.
I wouldnt be paying a £5000 balance right now

CakeAndGin Wed 25-Mar-20 07:43:38

By the way, we purchased our travel insurance before this all started - cancelling your holiday because of coronavirus is usually still counted as disinclination to travel. Travel insurance covers you when you get there or have to cancel for the reasons listed (which most companies are saying coronavirus isn’t). If the country is a no-fly zone then you get the money back from your travel agent/airline and hotel if they are ATOL/ABTA protected, which is a government assurance scheme.

NeverTalksToStrangers Wed 25-Mar-20 07:49:24

My friend has a camping trip to Italy booked for end of August. She had only paid £100 towards accommodation but phoned them re paying the rest of the balance in may. They are allowing her to postpone her final payment, I'm not sure when to though.

EnglishGirlApproximately Wed 25-Mar-20 07:50:17

ATOL protection is irrelevant here it is for airline failure. At present ABTA and the CAA are in talks to temporarily amend the package travel regulations so even if your trip gets cancelled providers will be able to offer a credit or voucher rather than a refund, as long as as the credit is financially protected and the customer can get a refund eventually if they don't use the credit. This is likely to be agreed. If you think you'll want to rebook if it does get cancelled then pay the balance, if not you might be better losing the deposit.

rookiemere Wed 25-Mar-20 07:59:18

I would speak to the travel agents about what is best to do - appreciate that you're waiting until they are less busy which makes sense.

You'll not get a penny back from Ryanair unless the flight is actually cancelled and seeing as they still were apparently running flights to countries in lockdown a few days ago, then that's not something to bet on.

Also even circumstances are clear, don't bet on getting anything from insurance. I paid a premium on our existing annual policy middle of Feb to cover coronavirus. Luckily BA actually cancelled our flights to Costa Rica in July so I get that money back, but when I emailed the insurance company to check if I could claim for the Easyjet flights to Gatwick to get the BA flight and the one bit of accommodation that is non refundable, they were very mealy mouthed and responded that I should try to obtain refunds myself first. So I don't expect to get much from them apart from the accommodation deposit as it clearly states that is non refundable.

However the villa may be willing to postpone your stay to a future date, so that's definitely worth expl

rookiemere Wed 25-Mar-20 08:00:38

Oops posted too soon, I wouldn't be paying any more at this point until I spoke to travel agent but wait until deposit is almost due so they will have a clearer view of the situation.

KoalasandRabbit Sun 29-Mar-20 22:34:24

I'm having similar dilemma with our flights, travel insurance only pays out in certain circumstances and it's by no means guaranteed. I'm not sure I would throw good money after bad but it's a gamble either way.

With DDs Italy trip I lost deposit at £285 to get the £560 back, I could have gambled it all on insurance paying out but could also have lost it all if FCO advice at time of travel wasn't don't travel. People also seem to be getting vouchers now.

I'm wondering we have booked flights to Bangkok in August, obviously not happening, £2186, if they go bankrupt lose the lot, insurance won't cover, paid by paypal but out of 180 day help period. If cancel now lose £720. If they cancel or FCO advice 48 hours in advance is don't travel atm get money back. Hard to know, seen it go both ways.

MrsWhites Wed 01-Apr-20 18:42:26

Totally in the same position here. Balance due in may for very expensive holiday to Florida. We will lose £700 if we cancel but I’m reluctant to pay the remaining balance.

My concern is that if borders are open and Florida theme parks are reopened then we’d have to go on the holiday regardless of how safe/enjoyable the holiday would be. I would imagine that most resorts like this will still have to have extensive social distancing in place so I’m not sure in those situations that would be want to go. As it stands I think we will lose the £700 and walk away. It’s a shame since we were hit by the Thomas cook closure so have already had to rearrange once like so many others unfortunately!

KoalasandRabbit Wed 01-Apr-20 18:49:00

I've just looked again at our flights and think it's only the tax that's refundable so just going to have to take our chances and hope they don't go bankrupt or just offer a credit note we can't use.

I would have 'just' lost the £720 if that was an option. Looks like we are at risk of losing £4.2k or so, ouch, but nothing you can do really.

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