More than half of customers are rebooking, says homeworking group
Published on Thursday, April 23, 2020
Just over half of customers of Not Just Travel who have been affected by Covid-19 travel restrictions are rebooking their holiday, according to the homeworking group.
“We saw around 54% of customers rebooking last week and that figure has only gone up as more have done so,” said co-founder Steve Witt, who added that the re-bookings were all with the original operator.
He said customers are rebooking after Not Just Travel consultants explain what impact widespread refunds would have on the industry.
“By accepting a credit voucher or rebooking, the customer may be forfeiting their legal rights, but they are doing the right thing for themselves, other customers, travel companies and their thousands of staff. By holding the line the customer is helping the supplier to survive the crisis so they can take that holiday at a later date,” he said.
“If everyone was given a refund, it would be like a run on the banks and the operators or airline would go under very quickly. It would mean thousands of customers would not be going on their booked holiday at any time in the near or far future.
“We are finding that once we explain the situation to our customers, the large majority of them are happy to be issued a voucher or rebook as they know their money is protected and it’s the best solution for them and the industry.”
But he added that if customers are really struggling with finances, they should ask for a refund.
“It’s a tough time for everyone, but we are working round the clock to try and help both our customers and the wider travel community to get the best advice and support. ~
“For anyone who is not in a position to rebook or accept a credit note we as a company are doing everything possible to help customers obtain a refund and would encourage them to do so. We appreciate that in the current climate that this is not necessarily an easy process or as quick as it should be, which is why we have a team dedicated to helping customers do just that.”
Witt said it has taken the big players, including TUI, British Airways or Virgin Atlantic, many years to get to where they are and they can’t be replaced quickly.
“It would take years for another player to step into their role,” he said.
“These are exceptional times. Travel operators and airlines aren’t being dishonest, it’s that they are in very difficult situation and need to survive. The sheer number of people contacting the companies is overwhelming. A lot of their staff are furloughed and so with much smaller customer service teams customers aren’t getting any responses.”