Please understand that we do not decide upon the flight cancellation policy which applies to your ticket. These policies are set by the airlines and, as a booking agent, we have no control over them. Nevertheless, we are working tirelessly in liaising between our customers and the airlines in relation to the options made available to our customers by the airlines. If you would like us to do so for you, here are the options available to you:
Credit notes: Some airlines are currently only offering credit notes for the full amount of cancelled flights. In these cases, we will endeavor to provide you with a credit note within one week of cancellation.
Refunds: Some airlines are offering a refund. In this case, we will make the refund request with the airline and pass it on to you once we receive it. Please note that the airlines are taking a long time to process refunds and we explain in question 3 below the reasons for this. There will be no delay on our part – we will pass on the refund to you within 14 days of us having received it from the airline.
Ordinarily, when a customer asks us to process a refund with an airline, we are able to request this refund through the same reservation system which we used to make the booking with the airline. After we make the request, it is processed through that same system. The refunds are paid to us on a monthly basis, which we reconcile and check to make sure they are correct before we pay this via same method used by the customer to pay for the flight. This process typically takes around 4-6 weeks in total.
Following the grounding of flights because of COVID-19, a large number of airlines have disabled travel agents access to the standard refund system described above. In its place, these airlines have imposed a manual process which we must complete to request a refund on your behalf. This requires us to complete an application form for each and every passenger on a booking, with specific information on the passenger, the fare and the other charges included in the original booking. This is a complex, time consuming and labour-intensive process for us to complete, particularly given the unprecedented number of refund requests we are currently being asked to process. We have therefore increased the size of our refunds team to complete these application forms, which we can typically lodge with the airline within 7 days of your refund request.
Once the application form is sent to the airline, it is entirely beyond our control whether the airline approves that refund request. We also have no control over how long the airline takes to consider the application. Some airlines have publicly stated that it may take 4 to 6 months to process these refunds.
If application is not approved, or we need to find out when it will be dealt with, we have to follow up with the airline in the same way. This is a manual process which requires our refunds team to contact the specific airline. Any other query on the refund application has to be made in a similar way.
Please rest assured, we will pass on to you any refund we receive from the airline within 14 days of having received it. However, for the reasons we have described above, the airlines have now made the process much more time consuming than that which existed before the COVID-19 pandemic. Please bear with us whilst we do our best to secure your refund from the airline.
In circumstances like this, there is often mention of EU Regulation 261. This applies to all flights departing the EU/UK, as well as any flight arriving at an EU/UK airport which is operated by an EU/UK airline. In the event of a cancellation, the Regulation gives passengers the right to claim a cash refund directly from the airline within 7 days, even if the passenger purchased the flight from a travel agent such as Times Travel.
As Times Travel is not an airline, it is not subject to EU Regulation 261. Our only role as an agent is to arrange the booking between you, our customer, and the airline. However, we value our customers and we are working hard to help our customers obtain cash refunds from the airline and to process such request on their behalf.
Up to 48 hours before returning to the UK, you must complete a ‘Passenger Locator’ form online which must then be printed or downloaded to your mobile phone before you reach Border Control. This form can be found on HERE along with all the relevant information.
Currently, you do not need to have a COVID-19 test on returning to the UK, but we recommend checking with your airline before you travel to find out if a test is required for your return flight. It is advisable to regularly visit the GOV.UK website for all travel updates.
– Remaining seated where possible and following social distancing measures in the cabin.
– Opting for contactless payment methods where possible.
– Informing a staff member if you feel unwell.
The majority of airlines may offer reduced/alternative in-flight dining options, such as pre-prepared meal boxes and small ‘snack bags’, and in some cases, alcoholic beverages are no longer being served. In-flight services have been suspended altogether on some flights to help minimise contact between cabin crew and passengers.
For further information, we recommend speaking to your Times Travel Specialist or airline.
It is a requirement of most airlines that all passengers wear face masks for the entire duration of their flight to help limit the spread of the virus. Airlines have enhanced their cleaning procedures and audit inspections for each of their aircraft to ensure that all surfaces are heavily sanitised. The majority of commercial aircraft are fitted with HEPA filters which efficiently remove any particulate and bacterial contamination throughout the duration of the flight.
For further information, we recommend speaking to your dedicated TimesTravel Specialist or airline.
Depending on the destination you are travelling to, or the airline who you are flying with, you may need to have a COVID-19 test before your flight. Each destination and airline have imposed varying regulations for those entering the country and boarding their flights, with many destinations requiring a strict 14-day isolation period. Some destinations, however, will waive the quarantine requirement in replacement of a “Fit to Fly” or negative COVID-19 Certificate of Testing.
If the destination you are travelling to will accept a “Fit to Fly” or negative COVID-19 Certificate of Testing, they will require that you have the test a specified number of hours before your flight; the required number of hours will vary by destination and airline, so this is something that your dedicated Times Travel Specialist will advise you of. Some destinations will also require travellers to present health declarations, medical forms or tracing information before entry. Please refer to the FCDO website for more information.
It is recommended that passengers wear face masks for the duration of their time in the airport to help limit the spread of COVID-19. All passengers are encouraged to use contactless payments and online check-in services where possible, as well as follow all social distancing measures. Many airports have limited retail services available, with some outlets operating with reduced hours. Most major airports have implemented signs, barriers and markers to ensure that social distancing procedures can easily be followed.
Screening procedures and waiting time will vary airport-to-airport, so your dedicated Times Travel Specialist will be able to inform you of all relevant procedures in place at your chosen airport. If you feel unwell on arrival at the airport, it is important to seek assistance from the nearest member of staff.
For links to the Airline policy pages please click on the links below:
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