Coronavirus: Your rights in case of flight or holiday cancellations

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Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

In view of the recent situation regarding the outbreak of coronavirus that has spread in various countries, the Malta Competition and Consumer Affairs Authority, MCCAA, has informed consumers about their rights in relation to travel arrangements which might be affected by precautionary measures against coronavirus.

Package Holidays

If consumers have booked a package holiday and in the event of unavoidable and extraordinary circumstances occurring at the place of destination or its immediate vicinity and the package holiday’s performance is significantly affected, such holiday would be regarded as ‘significantly changed’. 

When this happens, the Package Travel and Linked Travel Arrangements Regulations give consumers the right to terminate the package travel contract without paying any termination fee and request a full refund from the tour operator.

In such instances, consumers are entitled to a full refund within 14 days, regardless of any terms and conditions agreed to in the sales contract that prohibits such refunds.

Consumers are however not entitled to claim additional compensation.  

If the organiser terminates the package travel contract due to unavoidable and extraordinary circumstances and notifies the consumer before the start of the package, the consumer is also entitled to a full refund but no additional compensation. 

Consumers, who decide to cancel package holidays which can be performed in full without any reduction of significant parts of the original holiday programme, are not entitled to claim a full refund. In such situations, consumers may be required to pay an appropriate and justifiable termination fee to the organiser.

Cancelled flights

Consumers’ current rights in respect of cancelled flights also apply in cases where flights are cancelled due to extraordinary circumstances such as travel bans, however, in such instances affected passengers can only claim a refund or re-routing but not compensation.