I’m worried about international travel in light of the coronavirus, what can I do?
First of all, check the up to date advice from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO). You’ll be able to find out if travelling to a certain destination is recommended or not. It also includes a link through to the TravelHealthPro website of the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC), which provides specific travel health advice.
If the Foreign & Commonwealth Office advises against travelling to a destination and your holiday arrangements have been affected, your travel provider should get in touch and advise you on what to do next and what your options are.
I paid for my holiday through my Starling account, if I cancel my trip will you refund me?
Your travel agent or airline provider are best placed to help you with refunds. Get in touch with them first. If this attempt is unsuccessful, we may under certain circumstances be able to help with a chargeback.
I paid for my flight with my Starling account, can I get a refund if the borders are closed or my flight is cancelled?
It would be best to reach out to your travel agent or airline provider first. They should be able to provide next steps.
Will I be covered by my travel insurance?
If you booked your cover before the coronavirus outbreak became a known event, you may be covered for cancellations by your travel insurance provider. You may have needed to buy extended travel insurance, but check directly with your provider on their policy.
If only certain parts of my package holiday are affected does my tour operator have to refund the full package or only the parts that are cancelled?
If they’re able to, tour operators can offer alternative holidays. If that causes significant changes to the original arrangements, for example spending the whole or part of the holiday in a different country, you don’t have to accept the alternative. You could then be entitled to a full refund of the package price. The tour operator should be able to provide full details.
When am I not entitled to a full refund?
If you’ve booked a package and are not due to travel very soon, tour operators will decide on an ongoing basis how far in advance they’ll begin offering alternative arrangements or providing refunds. The Foreign & Commonwealth Office advice is in relation to departures in the coming weeks so it might be too early to say if your holiday will or won’t go ahead.
Customers with departure dates more in the future will be required to wait to find out whether the advice changes and their holiday can continue as planned. If you cancel early you may have to pay cancellation charges.
When can I claim a chargeback for my flight or hotel, if I’m told not to travel?
If you’ve made several attempts to contact the merchant to ask for a refund and provided an explanation on why you’d be entitled to one, and they still haven’t responded to you, we may be able to raise a chargeback. There’s no guarantee that it would be successful and it’s important that before you contact Starling, you first try to resolve the issue with the merchant, for example, your travel agent or airline provider. You can learn more about how the chargeback process works on our blog.
As of the 17th March 2020, the Government has advised against all non-essential travel overseas. Please check government advice before travelling abroad.