Coronavirus (COVID-19) update – 14 July 2020

At Ionian & Aegean Island Holidays, we know how important your holidays are to you and we want to ensure that you feel safe in the knowledge that your holidays are important to us too. For that reason, amidst the ever changing news and updates regarding COVID-19 or the Coronavirus, rest assured that your planned holiday or if planning to book a package since news of the outbreak, will either go ahead safely as planned, or you will receive the choice of alternative options.

Q. Will my holiday be going ahead this summer?

A. The UK Government has now negotiated travel corridors with certain countries and the FCO has announced that their advice against non-essential travel to countries, including Greece has ended from the 4thJuly2020. Guests will no longer need to quarantine when returning from Greece or whilst in Greece. The Greek Government has officially announced today that direct flights from the UK will resume from15th July. Please see https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/greece

Our holidays will therefore operate from 18th July2020.

If you are due to travel on or after this date, we will be in touch to confirm your holiday arrangements and take payment of your balance. We are proactively contacting all affected customers in departure date order, which we think is the fairest way. Please be patient with us as we do this and remember that we will get in touch. The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has resulted in everyone having to deal with difficulties and restrictions, and our business and our colleagues face these too. Please do bear with us and thank you in advance for your loyalty, understanding and patience.

Q. Will my holiday be different if I travel this summer? What are you doing to make sure my holiday is safe when travel resumes this summer?

A. The last few months have been challenging to say the least. The way we shop, where we work, and how we socialise have all changed. Our holidays, and how we get there, is also adapting to ensure travel is enjoyable, efficient and safe. As the summer season returns and travel restrictions are eased, we want to reassure you that we are doing everything we can to continue to take you and your family on safe and enjoyable holidays to Greece and her islands. From check-in, flights, resort transfers or car hire, in fact, everything including your villa, apartment, pension or hotel, we have every element of your holiday covered. So, with that in mind, we have outlined our promise to you, so you can enjoy your holidays with us with complete peace of mind.

For more details regarding what to expect and how we are keeping you safe please click https://www.ionianislandholidays.com/pdf/covid19/KeepingYouSafe_20200706.pdf

 

OUR IONIAN PROMISE

PROTECTING YOU IS OUR PRIORITY
We have introduced extra measures to protect you, as well as
us, against COVID-19 – from disinfecting the aircraft cabin to
making sure all our accommodation is deep-cleaned before
they reopen and prior to every new arrival.

24-HOUR SUPPORT
You’ll be supported in resort by our experienced and fully
trained Overseas Team available 24hours a day, 7days a
week. Our entire team have well drilled and up to date with
the latest guidance advice to keep you safe during your stay
and all interactions with them appropriately safe.

BOARD WITH CONFIDENCE
Before you board, all aircraft will have been deep cleaned
from nose to tail. All the planes we use are fitted with state-of the-art filters and ventilation systems, which carefully control
the air quality and flow fresh clean air through the cabin every
few minutes.

CLEAN & SAFE AT ALL TIMES
As you’d expect from the award-winning Ionian Island
Holidays, when you arrive at your destination, everything will
have been fully checked to ensure your safety and wellbeing.
From your resort transfers to your hire car.

KEEPING YOU SAFE
We also have procedures and a detailed plan in place to
make sure all our properties meet the highest standards of
cleanliness using the latest EU certified cleaning products.

EVERYTHING WE DO WILL BE IN LINE WITH THE VERY LATEST ADVICE
FROM THE GOVERNMENT AND HOLIDAY INDUSTRY EXPERTS

Q. I am booked to travel between 15th July – 26th July and the balance for my holiday is now due, but nobody has contacted me. What shall I do?

A. For all holidays departing up to the 26th July we will be contacting you at the latest 14 days before your departure date to discuss your options. If at this point the holiday is operating and you choose not to travel, you will not incur any cancellation charges, but you may forgo your deposit. Alternatively, if your holiday is cancelled, we will discuss options regarding your deposit. We are therefore proactively contacting all customers travelling before the 26th July in departure date order. Please be patient with us as we do this and
remember that we will get in touch.

Q. I am due to travel after 27th July my balance is due & I want to cancel my booking ahead of my departure date?

A. For holidays departing after the 27th July we have extended our balance due dates as follows-:

• For departures between 27th July to 15th Aug Balance Due = 21 Days
• For departures between 16th Aug to 31st August- Balance Due = 28 days
• For departures between 1st September to 24th October – Balance Due = 42 days

Provided we can still fulfil all the elements of your holiday, our standard booking conditions and cancellation terms will apply. If at this point the holiday is operating and you chose not to travel, you will need to cancel your holiday in writing. Depending on when you cancel you will forgo your deposit & incur cancellation
charges, as follows.

In any event If wish to cancel the holiday, this must be done in writing to us. A written notification must be received by us by recorded or registered mail or by e-mail. No cancellation will be effective until such written notice is received by us.

If you have specific reasons for not wishing to travel when there are no FCO restrictions in place, we ask you to contact your travel insurers for information about cover.

Q. I am worried about travelling this summer because a member of our party has a pre-existing medical condition and is vulnerable. What should I do?

A. We recommend in the first instance you speak to your GP for advice. We then recommend that you speak to your travel insurance provider. If you cancel a holiday that we can operate, unfortunately we cannot refund your deposit and you will need to make a claim with your insurer.

Q. What happens if the airline has cancelled the flight that is on my original booking confirmation?

A. If the airline has cancelled the original flight that is on your booking, it is our responsibility to source an alternative flight option for you, where possible. This could mean a change in the airline operating the route.
The cost of the alternative flight will not be passed to you. If we are able to source an alternative carrier on the same flight date departing from the same or a nearby airport and the flight departure time is less than 12 hours from your original booking, this is not regarded as a significant change. In these circumstances, your booking is still valid.

Additionally, if the destination airport has been changed and the transfer time to your holiday destination is not more than 2 hours longer than your original booking’s transfer time this is not regarded as a significant change. For example, if Paxos is your destination and Preveza airport is substituted for Corfu airport, or if Pelion is your destination and Volos airport is substituted for Skiathos airport, this is not regarded as significant change. In this event, we will of course be responsible for arranging your onward transfers and
ensure that these operate as smoothly as possible.

A significant change occurs when

• We cannot source a replacement flight
• A change of outward departure time or overall length of arrangements by more than 12 hours.
• A change of UK departure airport except between: 1) The London airports: Gatwick, Heathrow, Luton, Stansted and London City ; 2) The South Coast airport: Southampton, Bournemouth and Exeter; 3) The South Western airports: Cardiff and Bristol; 4) The Midlands airports: Birmingham, East Midlands and Doncaster Sheffield; 5) The Northern airports: Liverpool, Manchester and Leeds Bradford; 6) The North Eastern airports: Newcastle and Teesside; 7) The Scottish airports: Edinburgh and Glasgow.

If there has been a significant change, we will contact all affected customers about their options, including how to amend bookings to a later date or an alternative destination. We will be in touch as soon as we can.  Please do bear with us and thank you in advance for your loyalty, understanding and patience.

If there has been a significant change your rights are as follows -:

• Accept the alteration.
• Choose to take an alternative holiday with us (if it is more expensive you must pay the difference, but if it is cheaper, we will make an appropriate refund), or
• (in the case of a major alteration – see below) Cancel the holiday and receive a full refund of the monies paid.
• A change of outward departure time or overall length of arrangements by more than 12 hours

Q. My holiday has been cancelled. What are my options?

A. If your holiday has been cancelled either because the flight or accommodation has been cancelled, we are currently offering the following options-:

• We will look at similar alternative options that are available for your dates of travel.
• Change the same holiday for the same dates in 2021 at no additional cost. By re booking the same holiday for next year, you will have no additional deposit to pay and you will secure the same price as you were due to pay this year (subject to availability).
The only exception to this is where you have booked at 2019 prices. We are unable to accept 2021 holiday bookings at 2019 rates. In this event we will have to re cost the holiday at 2020 rates. Early booking, loyalty discounts and promotional discounts will still apply.
• If you want to continue travelling but on a different date or destination, Ionian & Aegean Island Holidays will do everything possible to help provide you with all the new options. However, if the total of your new holiday is more, then you will have to pay the difference, which will need to be paid when the balance becomes due. If the cost of the new holiday is less than the amount you have paid then we will refund the difference.
• If you cannot decide at this moment in time but still intend to travel with us, Ionian & Aegean Island Holidays are offering a Refund Credit Note equivalent to the money you have paid us, which is fully protected under ATOL bonding and in line with guidance issued by ABTA, guaranteeing that your money is 100% safe. The Refund Credit Note can be used for any of our holidays travelling before the 31st October 2021, and we will allow you up to the 31 March 2021 to confirm your new travel arrangements. If you decide not to rebook a holiday with us, you will still be eligible for a cash refund at the expiry date of the Refund Credit Note. It also retains the financial protection you had with your original booking. If you cannot decide regarding the alternatives, we will re contact you
14 days prior to your original departure in order to find the most suitable resolution.

Q. Can I get a refund?

A. If your holiday is operating and you choose not to travel, you will not be entitled any refund and unfortunately you will need to forfeit your deposit. Please check our revised balance due dates to avoid incurring any additional cancellation charges.

If your holiday cannot operate we do hope you will choose one of the options that we have offered instead of requesting a refund and we are truly grateful to the large number of customers who have opted to reschedule their holidays with us or accept a credit voucher. If, however, none of the alternatives are acceptable you will be entitled to a refund.

If you have requested a refund, we will therefore process a refund as quickly as we can. The unprecedented scale of refunds being processed means this will take a little longer than normal and we appreciate your patience. In addition, due to many of the airlines delaying refunds, where you have paid the full balance this may mean your refund may come in 2 parts. Where only a deposit payment of £150 per person has been
made please note that in most cases this does not cover the flight cost, we have paid the airline, in which case the refund may take longer to process. If there is a delay caused by the airline, we will be sure to keep you informed. With the current volume of enquiries that we are dealing with refunds to customers will be processed as soon as we can, we estimate that time period as being 14-21 days from your original departure date.

Please Note that this is much sooner than the time prescribed by ABTA and we thank you for your patience & understanding.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office provides up-to-date travel information to help British travellers make informed decisions about travelling abroad. Should you wish to check their advice or information about the destination you are travelling to, please visit their website www.fco.gov.uk/en.

Q. What happens if I have booked and paid for my holiday and the FCO or the country I am travelling to introduce a travel ban or advice against all but essential travel?

A. In these circumstances you will be entitled to a full refund.

Q. What happens in the event of a “Local” lockdown in the UK preventing our group, or any member of our group from travelling. Will I be entitled to a refund?

A. In the event of a local lock down you would not be entitled to a refund from us but if you are prevented from travelling you should be able to claim from your travel insurance provided you took out the policy before the lockdown was imposed.
In the event of a local lock down you should first check with your local authority to ascertain if the local ban prevents you from travelling abroad as some local lock downs only apply to services provided in the area affected.
If you are not allowed to travel provided you took out your insurance before any local lockdown preventing you from travelling your policy should cover you for this eventuality.
You should ensure that your insurance policy has the option of Travel Disruption Extension Under these circumstances if the UK Government or local authorities have not issued any advice before you bought the policy you will be covered if a local lockdown preventing you from travel is bought in. Equally when you bought your policy which includes Travel Disruption Extension this should cover you if there was not a publicly know outbreak or quarantine in the resort you are travelling to.

Q. What Do I need to be insured against COVID-19?

A. It is essential you have the correct travel insurance. For your travel insurance to be valid, the FCO must have removed their advice against ‘all but essential travel’; we expect this to happen as part of the air bridges. You should check that your policy covers you for medical expenses, subsistence, and repatriation if you or a member of your party contact COVID-19 during your holiday. If you took out a single trip policy or renewed an annual policy before the outbreak began in February, you should be covered but you will need
to contact your insurance to check if you are covered. Some insurances are allowing customers extensions on their policies to cover specifically for COVID-19.

Whilst we do not sell or recommend specific travel insurance policies ourselves, several insurers, including Cover for You, Stay Sure, AXA and Trail finders, are now offering policies that specifically cover COVID-19.

With regards to local lockdowns occurring before your departure and you cannot travel for this reason most travel insurance should cover this eventuality. https://www.abta.com/tips-and-advice/planning-andbooking-a-holiday/travel-insurance

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