Over the summer months, there has been a noticeable number of situations related to extreme weather conditions around the world. Though this fact is undeniable, it is equally noticeable that the way your holiday is affected is not as clear cut. Local laws, authorities, and incidents have a big effect on how travellers will be advised, and this advice is not always useful to travellers who have yet to set off to their destination.  

With high winds, torrential rain, floods, heatwaves, wildfires, and tropical storms affecting destinations from the Mediterranean to the coast of Florida, Cuba, Morocco, and beyond, it is understandable that advice would be varied, and focused on those citizens and travellers in affected area.  

So, the less-answered question is, if you are planning to visit a destination affected by these weather conditions, how is your holiday changed and what can you do about it?  

Is Your Holiday Affected?

The most important factor to consider is whether your holiday will be affected. Though reports on extreme weather conditions can be alarming if you’re planning to travel, they may not pose any threat to your trip.  

These weather conditions can have an impact on varying periods, which can be estimated, and your dedicated travel professional or local authorities may give all the reassurance necessary. In Skiathos, Greece following a bout of torrential rain and flooding, authorities are currently welcoming back visitors within the span of a week.  

In the situation that your chosen destination is experiencing extreme weather conditions, check the Foreign Travel Advice, follow updates, and get in touch with your trusted travel agent. If your holiday is unlikely to be changed, you can rest assured that you’ve still got a great trip to look forward to.  

If Your Holiday is Affected 

In the event that weather conditions do have a definite impact on your booking, there is no need to panic. Whether you decide to cancel, accept a small change, or move your booking, the laws in place ensure that you won’t be put out of pocket or lose your holiday.  

If you have ever decided to delve into the dry read that is the Package Travel Regulations (PTRs), you will have come across this well-established and reassuring line, “the provisions of this regulation are implied as a term in every package travel contract.” In simple terms, this just means that regardless of the terms and conditions put in place by the business, the PTRs will always be in effect and take priority.  

It is for this very reason that we highly advise you to understand how the PTRs apply to your holiday as well as understand the conditions of the booking itself.  

In the situation of extreme weather conditions, the PTRs make things very simple for both you and the business you have booked with.  

“In the event of unavoidable and extraordinary circumstances occurring at the place of destination or its immediate vicinity and which significantly affect the performance of the package, or the carriage of passengers to the destination, the traveller may terminate the package travel contract before the start of the package without paying any termination fee.” 

If your holiday is impacted by “unavoidable or extraordinary circumstances” taking place at your destination (such as Hurricane Idalia) that impact any part of your holiday, including flights, you can cancel your holiday for a full refund and without any cancellation fee.  

“Where the package travel contract is terminated, the traveller is entitled to a full refund of any payments made for the package but is not entitled to additional compensation.”

Equally, this cancellation or change doesn’t have to come from your part. In the event that weather conditions do affect your booking, your travel agent may reach out to you with a proposal of: 

  1. A full refund and cancellation; or 
  2. A partial refund and a change to the affected part of your booking; or 
  3. A rescheduled or alternative booking (with a partial refund if necessary). 

In this case, you may request all details on their reasoning or pricing if it is changed, and you may accept any of the changes. If your travel agent suggests a change or alternative booking, you do not have to accept and can request a cancellation as an alternative.  

“The organiser must, without undue delay, inform the traveller in a clear, comprehensible and prominent manner on a durable medium, of the proposed changes, their impact on the price of the package, a reasonable period within which the traveller must inform the organiser of the decision, any substitute package, of an equivalent or higher quality, if possible, offered to the traveller and its price.

The traveller may, within a reasonable period specified by the organiser accept the proposed changes, or terminate the contract without paying a termination fee.”

Your Holiday May Not Be Affected, But You Want to Cancel 

In some cases of extreme weather conditions, you unfortunately cannot predict how your holiday may or may not be affected. In this situation, it is perfectly understandable that you may want to cancel your holiday for your own peace of mind.  

However, there are a few things to keep in mind if you decide to cancel without circumstances taking effect. The Package Travel Regulations (PTRs) determine that you can cancel your booking before it starts, but company terms and conditions may come into effect in this situation. This could include a termination fee, which you can request a breakdown of.  

“A traveller may terminate the package travel contract at any time before the start of the package. Where the traveller terminates the package travel contract, the traveller may be required to pay an appropriate and justifiable termination fee to the organiser. The organiser must provide a justification for the amount of the termination fee if the traveller so requests.”

For this reason, it is important to ensure you have read and understood a business’s terms and conditions before you book your holiday (as tedious as the task may be). In some cases, your travel agent may offer you a full refund with or without a termination fee, but in others, you could lose your money.  

So, if you’re looking forward to your next holiday, don’t wait, book now with a travel business member of PTS for 100% financial protection through trust. Or, if you’d like assistance choosing one of the lovely PTS members to book with, you can contact PTS directly at 0207 190 9988 or check us out on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. 

If you’d like to learn more about your financial protection with PTS or how the Package Travel Regulations protect your holiday booking, check out our pages and Travel Advice. 

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