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Help and Support

Help and support

Protecting our colleagues, members & communities

Following Government Guidelines, we have temporarily closed all of our travel branches.
We are pleased to advise you that many of our highly experienced colleagues are now working from home in our virtual call centre, to provide a service our valued customers and members.
Should you have a booking and require further advice, make a payment,  or have a new holiday enquiry please call us on 01922 234400 or email your enquiry to customersupport@cooptravel.coop
We look forward to continuing to be of service to you in our new Virtual World until normal banch operations can resume.
 
 

Travel Updates

Full list of countries exempt from COVID-19 travel quarantine 3 July

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3 July update- The Department for Transport has announced the countries included on its list of ‘safe’ destinations for UK citizens to travel to.

Europe

  • Austria
  • Andorra
  • Belgium
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France (overseas territories of France are listed separately, where included in the exemption)
  • Germany
  • Gibraltar
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Monaco
  • The Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal (only The Azores and Madeira)
  • San Marino
  • Serbia
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Switzerland
  • Turkey

Americas

  • Antigua & Barbuda
  • Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Bermuda
  • Canada
  • Cayman Islands
  • Dominica
  • Grenada
  • Jamaica
  • Martinique
  • South Georgia & the South Sandwich Islands
  • St Kitts and Nevis
  • St Lucia
  • St Pierre and Miquelon
  • St Vincent and The Grenadines
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Turks and Caicos Islands

Asia-Pacific

Australia
Brunei
French Polynesia
Hong Kong
Japan
Macao
Malaysia
New Zealand
Taiwan
Thailand
Singapore
South Korea
Vietnam
Wallis and Futuna

Africa

  • Reunion

Antarctica

  • British Antarctic Territory

There is a traffic light system in place which will mean UK nationals can travel to low-risk countries without needed to quarantine for two weeks when they return. The countries which have been selected include:

GREEN - Awaiting Confirmed Destinations
AMBER - Awaiting Confirmed Destinations
RED - Awaiting Confirmed Destinations

 

How will Covid-19 change your journey?

Before you travel

  • Please do not travel if you are displaying any (high temperature, persistent cough, loss of taste or smell).
  • Check the status of your flight with your airline as some schedules are still subject to change.
  • Please only travel to the airport if you have a flight booked. Only passengers travelling should come to the airport, non-flying members of the public are not permitted inside, unless they are escorting a passenger that needs special assistance (further information can be found below).
  • Make sure you arrive at the airport with a suitable face covering, as these must be worn throughout your journey, including on airport busses and in the terminal building. Additional masks can be purchased at most airports.
  • To help people keep their distance from each other and limit the number of people in security at any one time, some airports are giving you the opportunity to book a dedicated slot. Please check with your Personal Travel Agent who will be able to advise on this.
  • Make sure you check the latest government advice regarding travel to your destination and any requirements for returning passengers, such as quarantine.

 

Staying safe at the airport*

To help reduce the risk of infection and to keep you and airport staff safe, a number of additional measures have been introduced at some airports.  Social distancing won’t always be possible in an airport environment, but please keep a safe distance between you and other people whenever possible. The following other measures are likely to be in place to keep you safe:

  • You must keep your face covered on all parts of the airport campus, including on airport buses, so please bring a face covering with you. Your airline may not permit you to fly if your face is uncovered. Additional masks will be available to purchase inside the terminal(s).
  • Please clean your hands regularly. This can be done with soap and water. Additional hand sanitising stations have also been installed throughout airports.
  • Some airports are trialling the use of temperature screening technology which you will see on the entry to security.
  • There will be enhanced cleaning regimes in place throughout airports – you may see these teams in operation.
  • In some cases  protective screens have been installed at various locations throughout the terminals, including check-in desks and security.
  • Some airports are trialling the use of UV cleaning technology on escalators to keep handrails as clean as possible.

    (please note information may vary by airport)
     

Special assistance

  • If you have booked special assistance, please head to the special assistance area within the airport. Airport staff will be equipped with protective clothing and wheelchairs are cleaned thoroughly after each use. Those requiring special assistance are permitted to take one other non-flying member of the public with them to help them get to the assistance point.
     

At security

  • The rules on hand luggage have not changed, so please ensure any liquids are in containers of less than 100ml (including hand gel) and placed in a clear plastic bag before entering security. Laptops and tablets should also be outside your bag. However, in light of COVID-19 some airlines have changed their cabin baggage policy so please check with your airline as there is nowhere to store left luggage.
  • Please keep your face covering on as you pass through security, although you may be asked to remove it if you are selected for an additional search.
  • Please be prepared for things to take slightly longer at security as the airport staff adapt to new ways of working.
     

In the departure lounge

  • Please observe any signage regarding queueing systems which may be in place and keep your distance from others where possible. This includes seating areas and in the toilets.
  • Whilst this will vary by airport please prepare for limited shops to be open and limited availability of food and drink inside the terminal.

 

Getting to and from the aircraft

  • Airports will be trying to limit the number of flights which require a bus journey between the terminal and the aircraft. However, where this is not possible, they will be keeping bus journeys as short as possible and limiting the number of people onboard. Please remember to keep your face covered at all times.

 

Onboard your flight

  • Whilst every airline will vary slightly in their onboard protocols, you should be prepared for there to be no or limited onboard service. Aircraft are already fitted with HEPA filters, the same as those used in hospitals, replacing cabin air every three to four minutes.  The cabin will be thoroughly disinfected daily, which provides surface protection from viruses that lasts for at least 24 hours.  As your Personal Travel Agent I've got lots of handy further information regarding the different airlines you may be travelling with. Please speak to me further about this.

 

Returning to the UK

  • Please keep your face covered in the terminal except if asked to remove it by Border Force officers.
  • Remember to keep your distance as far as possible when collecting your baggage and leaving the airport.
  • Please leave the terminal as soon as you have collected any baggage. If you are being picked up, please arrange to be met at the car in the designated area.

 

For further information specific to your airport please use these links

Manchester Airport Click here

Birmingham Airport Click here

Gatwick Airport Click here

Heathrow Airport Click here

Luton Airport Click here

Stansted Airport Click here

Bristol Airport Click here

Cardiff Airport Click here

East Midlands Airport Click here

Leeds Bradford Airport Click here

Liverpool Airport Click here

Newcastle Airport Click here

Glasgow Airport Click here

Edinburgh Airport Click here

Coronavirus (COVID-19) – Updated 6 May 2020 10:30AM

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Advice on travelling 

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) currently advises against all non-essential overseas travel for British nationals. However this travel restriction can be removed at any time, so travel companies are doing their best to manage arrangements for customers.
 
British people who decide that they still need to travel abroad should be fully aware of the increased risks of doing so. That includes the risk that they may not be able to get home, if travel restrictions are put in place.

For the latest updates please visit the Government’s dedicated coronavirus travel advice page.

Those currently in destination are advised by the Government to return to the UK now and should contact their travel company. They should also be aware that many destination authorities have introduced enhanced health measures including self-isolation procedures, and it is very important that travellers follow the public health advice relating to their local destination. Travellers should comply with these processes and take relevant preventative measures to reduce the risk of exposure. Travellers should also keep up to date on local advice.

For full information relating to the coronavirus outbreak please visit the Government websitePublic Health England and the TravelHealthPro website.


Advice to customers whose bookings have been affected

International travel has been brought to a complete standstill by government measures to contain the Covid-19 pandemic and this has led to hundreds of thousands of holidays being affected.  
 
We would strongly encourage customers to talk to their travel company to discuss alternative travel arrangements. Travel companies are doing all they can to ensure that holidays can go ahead where and when it is safe to do so and will be keen to offer you a range of options so that you can get the holiday you want.   

Where no suitable alternative is possible, your travel company may offer you a refund of the money you paid depending on the terms and conditions of your booking and depending on whether or not you booked a package holiday.  

If you booked a package holiday, you are entitled to a refund. We completely understand that for those customers that would prefer a refund to rebooking, they may feel frustrated and concerned by the amount of time it is taking. In normal circumstances a refund should be paid within 14 days. But these are not normal circumstances and the 14 day rule is simply impossible for many companies to adhere to.  
 
If you have travel insurance you might find it quicker to apply for a refund under your policy. Your travel company will be able to assist you with the paperwork for this.
 

Why is my refund being delayed?

Tour operators and travel agents are doing all they can to help customers but many don’t have the cash to pay customers a cash refund in a 14 day period, as they have not yet received money back from hotels, airlines and other suppliers affected by the crisis. Forcing them to do so would put many of them out of business, which would mean customers would not get their money back for many more months as the Government-backed ATOL scheme of financial protection could not cope with the sheer volume of refunds. It would also result in significant long-term damage to the UK travel industry.

In many other countries, governments have taken action to temporarily amend their travel regulations and provide additional guidance to allow refunds to be paid over a longer period or to allow refunds to be paid by a holiday voucher. You can find out more about what other countries are doing here.

The European Commission, which is responsible for the relevant regulations, has advised Member states to find “flexible solutions” to demands for refunds on cancelled holidays during the Covid-19 crisis.  

We have sought urgent Government help to ensure the rules around refunds are fit for purpose in the current situation and to help ABTA to provide practical and workable guidance to its Members and customers. 

In the absence of this Government intervention, and to provide some order to a chaotic situation brought about by the current crisis, ABTA has developed guidance framework for its Members to ensure that if there is a delay in providing a refund, customers don’t lose their rights and protections, and that Members process refunds as soon as they are able to. This is based on a system of financially-protected Refund Credit Notes (RCNs) where the customer’s fundamental rights are preserved, as set out by law (the Package Travel Regulations). Notwithstanding the issuing of Refund Credit Notes, ABTA’s expectation is that Members should refund customers as soon as they are able to.

We have also prepared information for customers, which makes it clear what an RCN is and what information customers should look out for if a company offers you one

This type of system is similar to those introduced in many other countries and is the framework under which ABTA will guide its Members and hold them to account.  

We’d like to ask customers to work with us on this; by following the steps below it will help to ensure your rights are protected and that when this crisis is over UK holidaymakers will be able to book and enjoy their holidays in the same way as they have done for many years.  

FAQ's - Advice for existing bookings

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If you would like to contact us regarding an exisiting booking, to make a payment or speak to a travel expert about a new holiday or booking,  please complete our email enquiry form here >

Frequently asked questions: FAQ's - Advice for existing bookings

If you would like to contact us regarding an existing booking, to make a payment or speak to a travel expert about a new holiday or booking,  please complete our email enquiry form here >

Frequently asked questions: 

What does the current travel advice mean for future travel, i.e. my summer holiday?
The Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) travel advice against ‘all but essential’ travel could be in place for the foreseeable future, however this travel restriction can be removed at any time, so travel companies are doing their best to manage arrangements for customers. 

We will be contacting customers due to travel imminently. There is no legal definition of ‘imminent travel’, however it is generally considered to be within the next few days.

Our advice to customers with future bookings is to be patient and wait to be contacted by your travel provider. Travel companies are extremely busy, given the pressures of the current crisis, and will be looking at imminent departures first and deciding how far in advance they will offer alternative arrangements or refunds.

What will the new quarantine measures mean for my holiday?

The government has said that it plans to introduce a 14 day quarantine for travellers returning to the UK, however they have not provided any detail on when this will be introduced or how this will be applied, or exemptions to the rule. As it stands today, the FCO advise against all but essential travel abroad, so any quarantine measures introduced while this advice remains will make little difference to the vast majority of holidaymakers whose holidays have been cancelled due to these restrictions. 

How do the new UK quarantine rules affect travel?

The government will soon be asking people arriving in the UK by plane, ferry, or train, to spend 14 days in quarantine. This means you will have to provide the address where you intend to self-isolate before you arrive, staying somewhere private, and away from others (except those who you’ve travelled with). If you have nowhere appropriate to isolate, you will be required to isolate in accommodation provided by the government. The full details of this have not yet been announced. After two weeks, if you show no symptoms of Covid-19, you can return to following the social distancing rules that apply to the rest of the population. The quarantine rules  will apply to everyone, whether you are a UK national returning after being stuck abroad, a foreign visitor, or you are a Brit coming home from a holiday – once the FCO ban on travel lifts. There has not yet been mention of how this will be enforced, or if there will be fines for failing to stick to the rules. In its Covid-19 Recovery Strategy document, the government says that these new measures will be introduced as soon as possible. However, the quarantine rules will not apply to French nationals. This could create a bubble for travel between the UK and France, once the FCO restrictions on all but essential travel are lifted. This means the first holidays you could potentially go on will be in France, where there would be no need for a period of quarantine on your arrival or return home. The quarantine will not apply to the Republic of Ireland either, although Ireland currently  requires Brits to self-isolate on arrival. It is likely that this will soon be lifted to create the potential for two-way travel. Unfortunately, the imposed quarantine does not mean your airline or travel company will cancel your flight or holiday. This is your choice whether to take your holiday and also include quarantine rules and build in additional time into your holiday plans.

Do the new quarantine rules mean I can holiday with my household in the UK?

The new coronavirus lockdown plan means you can now travel as far as you wish in England to exercise and to visit beauty spots, but the government still says staying overnight in a location other than the place you live is not allowed. It also specifically states you cannot visit a second home. UK holiday accommodation will reopen as part of ‘step three’ of the strategy, which will take place no earlier than 4 July. Even then, owners will have to meet Covid-19 secure guidelines to minimise the risk of infection for visitors.

I'm abroad already, should I return home immediately? 

All British tourists and short-stay travellers (this does not include permanent residents overseas) currently abroad should return to the UK as soon as possible where and while commercial flight options are still available. 
 
This update reflects the pace at which international travel is becoming more difficult with the closure of borders, airlines suspending flights, airports closing, exit bans and further restrictions being introduced daily. Further closures to air routes may come in the next 48 hours, possibly without notice.

I have a package holiday booked within the UK not overseas. Is my holiday affected?

Even though UK holidays don’t come under the FCO’s advice against travel, they are very unlikely to be able to go ahead as planned, certainly not during the period of restricted movement/lockdown. Accommodation may be unavailable; activities and bars and restaurants are closed. Therefore, we advise that you follow our general advice above, under “Advice to customers seeking refunds and with forward bookings”.

I have asked for a refund but have been told I will have to wait. Is there a time limit on this? 

Currently, there is no hard and fast rule. If your travel company is able to provide a cash refund, please be patient. They are dealing with a huge number of customers, and with offices closed and staff working from home, it’s a real challenge. ABTA will keep an eye on the situation and encourage ABTA Members to do all they can, but it’s not unreasonable at the moment to expect the process to take upwards of a month.

I’m due to depart within the next week or 2 – what’s my best option, can I cancel?

Due to FCO advice against all but essential travel all flights and sailings had been suspended and has changed to indefinitely allowing each Tour Operator to interpret and set their own appropriate date. Unfortunately your holiday may not be going ahead. We are in the process of contacting all affected customers to discuss options provided by the Tour Operator.

I’m due to depart within the next week or 2 – can I change the date of my holiday?

Due to FCO advice against all but essential travel all flights and sailings had been suspended ‘indefinitely’ allowing each Tour Operator to interpret and apply a suitable date, so unfortunately your holiday will not be going ahead. If you are travelling during this time then please email customersupport@cooptravel.coop with your booking details and what date you wish to amend to and we will be more than happy to assist you.

My balance is due, but I don’t travel yet, what are my options?

If your holiday has not been cancelled and the balance of your holiday is now due then this will need to be paid. In line with the FCO latest advice your holiday is due to go ahead as planned. If you did want to amend or cancel your holiday, normal terms and conditions will apply. If anything did change before your travel date then we would be in touch with you to advise and discuss your options. You will be able to make payment by calling the number for Branch you booked with and your call will be diverted to one of our Virtual Advisors who will be more than happy to assist you.

Do I still pay my balance as usual, or can I wait? What if I pay my balance and am then unable to travel due to the Coronavirus?

In line with the FCO latest advice your holiday is due to go ahead as planned so you will need to pay your balance on the agreed date at booking stage. If you did want to amend or cancel your holiday, normal terms and conditions will apply. If anything did change before you travelled, we would be in touch with you to advise and discuss your options.

I have a holiday booked for later in the year, when will I get an update on my holiday and if its cancelled? When will I know?

Initially the FCO had advised against all but essential travel to imminent departures with suspended flights and sailing up until 16th April 2020, this was altered to ‘indefinitely' and each Tour Operator will determine what this means to their holidays. This is being reviewed daily and if the FCO or the Tour Operator extends these dates and it affects your booking we will get in touch with you to advise and discuss your options.

I’m due to travel in May, but as a vulnerable person will be in 12 week isolation, what are the cancellation options?

Cancellation and amendment charges vary with each Tour Operator. If you email customersupport@cooptravel.coop with your booking details we will contact you and discuss your options.

How long will it take for me to get a refund?

Refunds have become delayed from Tour Operators, partly due to the sheer volume. Refunds would usually be provided by the organiser of the holiday (The Tour Operator) within 14 days and once we receive that we would pass it to you. Because of the extraordinary circumstances, there is a call for action to relax the refund timeframe for organisers. Refunds may be issued instead by way of a Refund Credit Note so that it may be redeemed later in the year for another booking.

I’ve been waiting for a refund for over a week?

Refunds have become delayed from Tour Operators, partly due to the sheer volume. Refunds would usually be provided by the organiser of the holiday (The Tour Operator) within 14 days and once we receive that we would pass it to you. Because of the extraordinary circumstances, there is a call for action to relax the refund timeframe for organisers. Refunds may be issued instead by way of a Refund Credit Note so that it may be redeemed later in the year for another booking.

If I pay my balance now for a holiday travelling later in the year and then have to cancel will it be a credit note or refund?

It is difficult to be sure, the rules are for a refund within 14 days however the extraordinary circumstances recently (and for the first time ever) have seen the regulation generally relaxed and the option now exists to issue a Refund Credit Note in the interim. The Refund Credit Note is however fully protected for a period of time so in the event of a financial failure the money remains safe.

Refunds

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The impact that Coronavirus (COVID-19) has had on the travel industry and the suppliers who provide services to create a package holiday has been extensive.

There have been necessary changes to how Co-operative Travel issue refunds to customers for their cancelled holiday arrangements. During this time refunds are taking longer than usual, and we thank you for your patience.

If you have booked a package including an element of transport, such as a flight, train, cruise, ferry, it is important that you know that your money is safe and you are financially protected from the financial failure of any of the suppliers, or indeed ourselves as your Travel Agent, or Organiser.

If your booking is cancelled because the FCO advise against travel, you are entitled to a refund, but you may need to be patient with the unfolding refund process. It will be dependent upon the tour operator on your booking.

When we are a travel agent (You’ve booked your holiday through Co-op Travel and we sell you a holiday that is fulfilled by another supplier or tour operator. i.e. Jet2 Holidays, TUI)

We operate mainly as a travel agent, where we sell other companies’ holidays in the capacity of an agent. This means we can offer to you the consumer a wide range of travel arrangements rather than being limited to just offering one company in the main. When we collect money from you, it is paid over to the travel organiser. If the arrangements are cancelled and a refund is applicable, we must receive the money back from the supplier in order to hand it back to you.

What is a Refund Credit Note (RCN)?

A Refund Credit Note entitles you to rebook a holiday at a future date or receive a cash refund at the expiry date of the note.  It also retains the financial protection that you had with your original booking.
 
If your original booking, for example a package holiday with flights, came with ATOL financial protection, the RCN will still provide this protection.  If your original booking came with ABTA financial protection, for example a cruise holiday or other package holiday including rail or coach travel, the RCN will still provide this protection.

Refund Credit Notes may look different depending on your travel provider, but they should all comprise the following:

  • An expiry date, which is the date to which your money is protected, and is based on your travel company’s financial protection arrangements. You are entitled to re-book or have a cash refund by this date at the latest (if your original booking was for a package holiday).
     
  • The value of the Refund Credit Note must be equal in value to the amount you paid for the original booking (or less the amount your travel provider has offered you as a part cash refund).  
     
  • The Refund Credit Note must include the original booking details and reference.
     
  • The Refund Credit Note must not include any other amount offered as a rebooking incentive or other offer. Any such offers must be documented separately and are not covered by any scheme of financial protection.
     
  • You should retain all previous booking documentation including booking confirmations, ATOL Certificates where appropriate and proofs of payment.

 

Co-op Travel have offered me a Refund Credit Note instead of a cash refund. Should I accept this?

Thousands of customers have already amended and rebooked their holiday or have received a Refund Credit Note from their travel provider. If your original holiday was covered by a financial protection scheme (e.g. ATOL or ABTA), your Refund Credit Note is financially protected by ATOL or ABTA (whichever covered your original booking) in the event your travel business fails. It is important that your Refund Credit Note includes certain things, please see more detail on this there (see What is a Refund Credit Note above). If you are uncertain about accepting a Refund Credit Note, then talk to your travel provider about your options. ABTA can also provide information on these.

As a long term member of ABTA, Co-op Travel follow the rules for Refund Credit Note. If you have evidence that an agent is not following the above rules, in the first instance please contact our Customer Support team. customersupport@cooptravel.coop

If I accept a Refund Credit Note, will I loose my right to a cash refund?

No. A Refund Credit Note preserves your right to a cash refund, which can be redeemed at the latest at the expiry date of the note.

Your refund and the Package Travel Regulations (PTR)

The complication with the scale of the current refund position is that the travel organisers are also waiting for the funds back from airlines, hotels, transfers and tour providers. If the amount of refunds that are due were all paid over, within the 14 days as set out in the Package Travel Regulations (PTR), there wouldn’t have been enough time for the funds to have moved around from company to company.

Ultimately someone would fail in the chain and there would likely be a domino effect leaving customers without refunds and having to make a claim against the protection schemes that are in place.

Is a holiday voucher the same as a Refund Credit Note?

No. A holiday voucher is different to a Refund Credit Note. Holiday vouchers, gift vouchers and other discount vouchers are not protected by the schemes of financial protection. 

When can I redeem my Refund Credit note for another holiday or a cash refund?

Your Refund Credit Note should include an expiry date which is based on your travel company’s financial protection arrangements, or a date sooner than this.  

The reason the dates will vary by provider is because some companies will have financial protection in place for their holidays for a longer period than others. The majority of holiday bookings are covered by ATOL. ABTA does not have the authority to set dates for when ATOL protection applies, this is set by the Civil Aviation Authority. 

How is my money protected and why is it important?

The majority of package travel arrangements provided by ABTA Members are protected by either the CAA’s ATOL scheme or by the ABTA Bond of the Member company. Both the ATOL and ABTA schemes protect a refund that was due for a holiday that has not taken place if a travel company fails. You can check this for yourself on the ATOL Air Travel Trust Payment Policy, section 4.2 on page 28.

ABTA is an independent organisation, recognised by the UK Department for Business (BEIS) as an Approved Body under the 2018 Package Travel Regulations. Some of our Members provide bonds through one of the other two Approved Bodies – ABTOT or the CPT Bonded Coach Holidays schemes. ABTA accepts the use of both of these schemes for our Members. Some Members also use financial failure insurance products rather than Bonds. These are also permitted under the 2018 Package Travel Regulations. ABTA checks that all these are in place and monitors them, so that customers do not have to do so when booking with an ABTA Member. Further information on the ATOL scheme can be found on the Civil Aviation Authority website.

What Co-op Travel are doing

We are keeping in touch with all of the travel organisers we work with to make sure refunds are received as quickly as possible although there has been a call to government to permit that refunds should be made in the form of a Refund Credit Note, effectively delaying the refund to allow the companies involved to work through the administrative tasks to get funds back to the customer.

The Refund Credit Note would be redeemable against a future booking and there may be a option to exchange for cash at a later point (on or before March 31st 2021 is likely).

It is important to note that the value would remain protected against the original booking to keep consumer financial protection in place, so your investment remains protected.

Due to the changes to businesses around the world from reduced staffing levels, offices being unavailable and the additional loss of new sales whilst consumers are coming to terms with the changes on their own circumstances, there is inevitable disruption and we would ask for your understanding of these facts.

When we are the Organiser

Sometimes when we sell travel arrangements to our customers, we become the organiser as dictated by the Package Travel Regulations (PTR), and so the responsibilities and obligations fall to us.

We will do our very best ensure that refunds are provided but we rely on our third-party travel partners to make that possible. This may mean you are provided with a Refund Credit Note until cash is received back from airlines, hoteliers etc. The Refund Credit Note may be redeemed for a cash refund at a later date if you are unable to use the Refund Credit Note in the meantime (We are working with 31st March 2021 to redeem or exchange).

The information from many of the travel suppliers involved in the holidays we sell is changing from day to day, which in turn means it is difficult for us to be able to give clear and absolute guidance to our customers and would thank you for your patience as the refund process evolves.

Page updated: 21/04/2020 11:00

Before You Depart

Travel Money

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We offer a huge range of currencies, available for purchase in our travel branches. We always recommend that you buy your currency or travellers cheques in plenty of time as stocks can be low during peak seasons. It's a good idea to monitor exchange rates and buy when the rates are at their best, but don't leave it too late! Use our locator to find your nearest Co-operative Travel branch where you'll find great rates on all currencies.

For more information, please visit our holiday-extras page.

Travel Insurance

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Do I need travel insurance? 

We would recommend that you take out suit travel insurance for yourself and anyone travelling with you - including infants and children.

We can't accept responsibility for any loss that you or anyone travelling on your booking suffers if the individual isn't adequately insured. With all insurance policies, terms and conditions apply, so you need to make sure you've got the right policy for you.

What does my policy need to cover?

At a minimum, your travel insurance should be 'comprehensive', providing cover against personal accident, death, medical expenses, emergency repatriation and personal liability. Please visit co-op insurance.

Visa Information

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How do I find out about the visa requirements for the trip I am interested in?

While we can offer information and advice about visa requirements, we always recommend that passengers check with their local embassy as visa rules can change without warning. Embassy websites in your home country will always have information about requirements, visa costs and will provide the required forms.

How do I organise my Visa?

Please contact the relevant local embassy, or visit a travel agent, to organise your visa/s.

Safety & Medical Information

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The Foreign & Commonwealth Office and the NHS have up-to-date advice on staying safe and healthy abroad.

For more on security, local laws, plus passport and visa information, see www.gov.uk/travelaware

Keep informed of current travel health news by visiting www.travelhealthpro.org.uk

Bookings

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Can I check in online?

You'll be able to check in online if you're flying with easyJet, Aer Lingus, Jet2, Flybe, or Thomas Cook, and you've been given a separate 6-character flight booking reference. You'll do this directly on the airlines website. Just so you know, some airlines don't offer online check-in.

How do I choose my seats on the plane?

If you're flying with Thomson Airways or any of those airlines listed below and you pay extra to reserve your seats, you'll get to choose your seat numbers. You can either reserve your seats when you're booking your holiday, or you can add them later by contacting us. If you don't use our Select Your Seat services, your seats will be automatically allocated to you when you check-in online.

- Air Europa (flight prefix AEA)

- Albastar (flight prefix JQ)

- ASL Airlines France (flight prefix FPO)

- ASL Airlines Ireland (flight prefix ABR)

- Evelop Airlines (flight prefix EVE)

- Germania (flight prefix ST)

- Norwegian (flight prefix D8)

- Travel Service (flight prefix QS)

- Volotea (flight prefix VOE)

Choosing your seats

Once you've reserved your seats, you'll be able access the seat map of the plane from 90 days before your return flight, up until 6 hours before departure. If you have reserved Premium Seats, Extra Leg Seats or Extra Space Seats then you will be able to access the seat map immediately after you book your holiday on our Flight Extras page. This is what you'll need to use to choose your seats on the plane.

When you can use Select Your Seat

If you have paid extra for Select Your Seat and you're booking your holiday more than 90 days before your return flight, we'll send you a separate email once the seat map is available to you. If you haven't received your email, it's worth checking your junk or spam folder in case it appears there. If you're booking less than 90 days before you return, you'll find a link to the seat map in your confirmation email. If you have reserved Premium Seats, Extra Leg Seats or Extra Space Seats then you will be able to access the seat map immediately after you book your holiday.

Can I take my own food for the flight?

Yes.  However, we can't provide heating facilities on board - although for infants, we are able to warm bottles of milk in hot water. Therefore, we would advise low-risk food such as pre-made sandwiches and snacks that can be eaten cold.

At the airport and onboard your flight

Special Assistance

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Airport operators within the EU have a responsibility to assist anyone with a disability or mobility difficulties during their time at the airport. This includes intellectual disability or impairment, age or any other cause of disability. The airports will signpost designated points for customers with reduced mobility.

The assistance Airlines can provide to disabled customers and customers with reduced mobility, can include the following (services will vary by airline – please contact us prior to booking and our agents will confirm the specific arrangements available for your selected airline):

  1. Assistance moving to and from seats on the aircraft.

  2. Providing use of the on-board wheelchair.

  3. Helping a customer to and from the on-board lavatory providing this does not involve lifting or carrying the customer

  4. Assisting a customer with their hand luggage on board the aircraft

It should be noted that any customers with reduced mobility will not be able to sit in an exit-row seat, if you are selecting seats as part of your online check-in and you select these seats, you will be re-allocated seats at the airport check-in desk or onboard the plane.

How we can help to make your journey easier?

If you have any disability, medical need or if you have difficulty moving around you’ll find the information you need here.

We recommend that you always contact us before making a booking to allow us to confirm that all the required arrangements can be made for your selected holiday.If you are unsure as to what may be classed as requiring special assistance, we recommend you download and complete the ABTA checklist which can be found here. This will help us to best advise you on the assistance available for your holiday booking. 

Many overseas accommodation, overseas transport (including transfers) and other holiday services provided overseas aren’t equipped to cater for the needs of disabled holidaymakers. Sometimes, the natural terrain and the layout of resorts can make life difficult for people with mobility difficulties. It’s important if you have any disability, that the suitability of particular accommodation, resorts, transport and services are checked and that you’re completely satisfied you’ve made the right choice before you confirm your holiday.

If you, or anyone on your booking require specific accommodation arrangements or have any other overseas requirements relating to a disability, we recommend that this is processed over the phone via your booking agent. We always recommend you discuss your specific requirements with our team before making a booking.

Assistance Dogs

The policies for assistance dogs being carried will vary between different airlines. Please contact us prior to booking your holiday if you are travelling with an assistance dog so we can check the requirements for the airline involved in your holiday booking.

For any other specific accessibility needs not mentioned above, please ensure you contact us prior to making a booking to allow us to best assist with ensuring your needs are met. You may find the "ABTA checklist for disabled & less moobile passengers" useful for planning your trip - you can download a copy here.

We can’t be held responsible if you don’t tell us about special requirements that will affect your holiday experience.

Transfers

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How will I find my coach transfer when I arrive in resort?

When you arrive at the airport, you'll be met by a Holiday Rep.  They'll usually be waiting for you outside the airport and will be wearing Thomson or First Choice uniform. You'll then be shown to the coach that'll take you to your hotel.

If you’ve booked or are considering booking a resort transfer between the airport and your accommodation as part of your holiday arrangements with us, you’ll need to contact us so we can help.

Our suppliers will try to accommodate all customers and their equipment/luggage on transfer coaches, but there are restrictions due to the type, space and accessibility of vehicles that are available in other countries. This means alternative transfer arrangements may have to be organised.

For example, If you’re taking an electric wheelchair or scooter, we recommend you book a taxi transfer to your hotel as in most destinations you can’t take this equipment on coaches. We can also arrange a taxi transfer for you if you are not able to climb the steps on the coach.

Please contact us for prices of taxi transfers and we’ll help you with any reservations you need to make. In some destinations taxis may not be adapted to accommodate wheelchairs, please ask us for more details when you call.

On Holiday

Board Basis

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Here's a guide to what each of the board basis options mean:

Self-catering: Meals are not included at your accommodation, but you will be provided with catering facilities in your accommodation to cook light meals.

Bed and breakfast: Breakfast is included at your accommodation.

Half board: Your breakfast and evening meal are included at your accommodation.

Full board: Your breakfast, lunch and evening meals are included at your accommodation.

All Inclusive: What's included in the All Inclusive package varies depending on where you're staying. To find details on what's included at the hotel you're interested in, please search for the hotel directly, or speak to your travel advisor who should be able to look into this for you.

Accommodation

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Adapted Rooms, or walk in showers can only be guaranteed before a booking is confirmed. If someone on your booking would like to arrange these then please contact us prior to booking.

Other Common Questions

Support

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Can I contact you via live chat?

Yes, you'll find the live chat option on the Contact Us page. 

How do I amend my booking?

If you need to make an amendment to your booking call us on 01922 908389.

Who do I call if I need a doctor or dentist while I'm away?

If you need a doctor or a dentist while you're on holiday, contact your Holiday Rep. Contact details will be on your arrival card or on your notice board at the hotel. If you're calling us from abroad, this will be charged an international rates.

When you get back

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I experienced a flight delay, am I entitled to compensation?

You can make a claim if the arrival time was delayed by more than three hours, and if the flight took place within the last six years. Any compensation offered will be sent to the lead passenger. We aren’t able to offer any compensation for non-fare paying customers, such as children that flew with a free child place, or infants under the age of 2 years.  To make a claim, please contact your airline directly.

Terms & Conditions

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For more information, please visit our Terms & Conditions page.

Chat now or talk to one of our travel experts

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