Covid-19 FAQ

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.

You can contact us, or you can visit the airline’s website for UK passengers.
The date change fees normally imposed by airlines are waived in the majority of cases during this period. In most cases, this allows one date change only. If the fare is higher on the selected day of departure, then the difference in fare may have to be collected with some airlines. Please check your airline’s rebooking policy.
Yes, if this option is covered in the airline policy. For the majority of airlines it is, but applicable fare differences will apply. Please check your airline’s rebooking policy.

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.

Each resort has different procedures for if a guest contracts COVID-19 during their stay, so you will be able to find out more about individual resort policies from your dedicated Times Travel Specialist prior to travel.

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.

You may be required to self-isolate for 14 days upon returning to the UK. Our team will advise you regarding your chosen destinations, however we recommend regularly visiting the GOV.UK website for a full list of the countries that are exempt or considered to be ‘travel corridors’. Please note that these ‘travel corridors’ may be changed and quarantine on return to the UK can be imposed at any time and without warning.
We advise remaining up to date with the FCDO for any protocols that have been recently put in place in the destination/s that you are visiting. In general, it is strongly advisable to wear a face mask or covering in enclosed spaces or wherever social distancing may not be possible.
Many airlines have taken on stringent protocols to ensure the safety of every traveller. You may be required to wear a face mask for the duration of your flight, and many airlines have incorporated social distancing measures into the seating configuration. In general, we also advise:
– 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.

Each airport will differ country-to-country depending on local rules and regulations. Your dedicated Travel Specialist will be able to assure you of all COVID-19 procedures depending on where you are travelling.
Each COVID-19 test provider will charge different prices and have varying turn around time for test results, so it is best to clarify what these are before you purchase a test and ensure these are returned to you before you depart. Please note that we cannot be held responsible in the event that the test results are not returned in time for departure, however, we will of course try our best to assist you with moving the trip and with any costs associated with that.

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.

There are a variety of health providers that offer private COVID-19 tests and details of these can be found online. Some health providers will require you to come into the clinic to have your test done, whereas others will send you the testing kit by post for you to administer yourself. The COVID-19 test involves inserting a swab into the back of the throat and/or deep inside the nose to collect a sample of saliva and other fluid. The test may cause some discomfort or mild pain. They can also be at varying costs depending on the level of service you select.

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.

If the borders of the destination you are due to travel to close or remain closed, you will have the option to move your travel dates forward, claim a travel voucher for your cancelled holiday or receive a full refund.
It is essential to take out travel insurance before your holiday to cover all medical treatment and repatriation. Some insurance providers will protect you against medical expenses and cancellation caused by COVID-19. We highly recommend you clarify your travel insurance policy with your provider to see if you’re covered for COVID-19.

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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