Your Rights to Refunds & Your Money Back During the Coronavirus Outbreak

The coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak has impacted everyone in lots of different ways, including our finances. Here's how to make sure that you get what you're entitled to if you've paid for things that have had to be moved or cancelled.

Events

Lots of events have been cancelled or have been postponed because it's not currently safe to have large groups of people together. You should check with your ticket provider to see what your rights are. Unfortunately you're unlikely to get a refund if you bought your ticket from a re-selling website, a private seller or a fan-to-fan website, for events that have been postponed.

If an event has been cancelled

Your ticket provider will usually get in touch to tell you about the cancellation and offer you a refund. Unfortunately admin/booking fees and postage usually aren't included in this so you might get a little less than what you actually paid in total. 

If an event has been postponed

If you can make the new date, great. The ticket provider will either post out new tickets for the altered date or work with the venue to make sure the tickets you already have will be accepted when you eventually go there. 

If you can't make the new date, get in touch with the ticket provider. They'll either offer you a refund or, depending on the event, may let you switch to another date you can make. They may also offer you vouchers to spend on a different event. There may also be an opportunity to sell your ticket back to a fan through an official resale website.

If they refuse to give you a refund

You won't be able to claim a refund on travel or accommodation you needed to attend the event from the ticket provider unless it was part of a package that they offered with the tickets. You will have to get refunds from the hotel/travel company themselves. 

Check that the place you bought the event tickets from are part of the Society of Ticket Agents and Retailers (STAR). If they are, you can use STAR’s complaints procedure.

If they aren't a member of STAR, get more information from Citizens Advice Scotland on how to get a refund.

Holidays

As a travel ban was imposed during part of the coronavirus outbreak, and lots of countries aren't allowing people who don't live there to travel there, any holiday you had booked will most likely have been cancelled. 

If you bought a package holiday

You’re entitled to a refund if the company cancels your holiday before you go. 

A package holiday is when you pay to have more than one thing booked for you - for example, you got flights and your hotel all with one company and bought together. 

You should get in touch with the customer service department of the agency you booked with - companies like EasyJet, Last Minute, Jet 2, First Choice and Expedia all offer package holidays. Many companies are being inundated with requests so it may take longer than normal to receive a refund. You can ask the company you booked with about when you might be able to expect your refund. They also may offer you a travel voucher instead to use at a later date, if you're still planning on re-booking in the future.

If you had booked fights

Get in touch with the airline's customer service department to get compensation or use your own travel insurance if it covers cancellations. 

You need to get in touch with the airline operating the flight, even if you booked it through another airline or website. For example, you might book a flight on the Last Minute website, but Ryanair might be operating the actual flight. 

You should have all flight details and booking reference numbers at the ready as they will need this information to be able to help you out. 

If you had booked a hotel

If you booked with free cancellation, you should be able to cancel your booking easily using the website or app you booked through.

You will need to check the terms and conditions of your booking to see if you can get a refund if you've paid in advance.

Get in touch with the hotel if you booked directly with them. 

If you booked through another website, like Booking.com or Hotels.com, get in touch with them to get a refund on your hotel. 

If you booked an Airbnb you can contact their customer service team or message the host directly. They have more information on coronavirus (COVID-19) and refunds. 

If they refuse to give you a refund

You should also check out the terms and conditions of your travel insurance if you have it - you might also be covered by your home insurance or your bank account insurance for refunds on cancelled travel.

If you are having issues with refunds on flights and you were meant to fly from the UK to another destination, you can complain to the Civil Aviation Authority. If you were meant to fly from another country, check the Citizens Advice Scotland website. 

For package holidays, check if the company you booked with is a member of Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA). If they are then you can put in a complaint on their website.

Travel

As the lockdown restrictions in Scotland currently state that you shouldn't be using public transport unless you need to, to travel to work that you can't do from home, you might not be using any sort of travel right now.

If you have a season pass

No matter where you've bought your season pass, you won't be able to get a refund the last 12 weeks of an annual season ticket, the final seven days of a monthly season ticket, or the remaining three days of a weekly season ticket, so it's important to apply for it as soon as possible. 

If you bought your pass directly from ScotRail then you should use their website to get a refund.

You can use this season ticket refund calculator to see what amount you might be entitled to.

If you have a season pass bought on the Trainline app, go to my bookings and select ‘Refund’. You can also get in contact with their customer service team who can help. 

If you had booked a coach/train/car hire

Visit the refund/customer service page of the provider you booked with.

If you had booked through the Trainline you can go to your My Account section to request a refund, or get in touch with their customer service team. 

If you booked car hire get in touch with the provider directly. 

If you booked a coach trip, get in touch with the company/operator you were meant to travel with - Citylink, Megabus, Stagecoach, etc.

If they refuse to give you a refund

If you aren't happy with a rail companies' response, you can contact the Rail Ombudsman. If they can’t help with your issue, they’ll put you in touch with another organisation which can help. A lot of companies offer vouchers to use on future train journeys. You don’t have to accept them - if you want a cash refund, you can insist on it.

Other options for refunds

If the provider isn't being helpful, you can also either talk to your bank or PayPal if you paid for the event or service with a credit card or debit card. Citizens Advice Scotland have lots of useful advice on how to use this option to get refund.

You can also get in touch with the Financial Ombudsman Service who can help you get your money back. 

Get more information about money management at Money & Me.