EASYJET passengers have been given extra time to use flight vouchers with the airline as travel continues to be disrupted by coronavirus.
The budget carrier has extended the use by date of all vouchers due to expire on or before June 30, 2021, by six months.
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These vouchers had been due to expire one year after being issued by the airline.
But the extension means they can now be redeemed before the end of December 2021, reports MoneySavingExpert.
Travellers should note that this is the date for when you need to use your voucher by, not for when you must travel.
The latest date for which easyJet is currently selling flights for is September 2022.
What are the new lockdown rules for travel?
AS of January 5 2021, only essential travel is allowed with Brits urged not to leave their house unless for reasons including food, medical care or work.
The government advice states: "You can only travel internationally – or within the UK – where you first have a legally permitted reason to leave home.
"In addition, you should consider the public health advice in the country you are visiting.
"UK residents currently abroad do not need to return home immediately. However, you should check with your airline or travel operator on arrangements for returning.
"Foreign nationals are subject to the ‘Stay at Home’ regulations. You should not travel abroad unless it is permitted. This means you must not go on holiday."
As the extension to the vouchers is an automatic process, you don't need to contact easyJet – instead, the airline says it is contacting affected customers.
Vouchers that are due to expire after June 30, 2021, will continue to be redeemable for up to a year.
Many travellers who were meant to fly with easyJet were given vouchers if they couldn’t travel due to ongoing coronavirus restrictions.
The only exception is if you cancelled within 24 hours of booking, which means you should've got a full refund minus the cancellation fee.
If your flight was cancelled by the airline, you are generally entitled to a cash refund.
You could also choose to accept a voucher for a future booking if your trip was cancelled by easyJet.
Flight vouchers: what are other airlines doing?
Consumer law states that airlines must give a full cash refund or voucher if your flight is cancelled.
This also applies to travel package providers, where customers are protected by Package Travel Regulations (PTRs).
Unfortunately, if you cancel a trip, you aren't automatically entitled to get your money back.
In December, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) launched an investigation over airlines refusing to refund customers for flights they couldn't take.
This could include, for example, when a national lockdown was in place and non-essential travel was banned.
At the time of announcing its action, the CMA wouldn't reveal a full list of airlines that it was contacting.
But it notes that package holiday providers Lastminute.com, Virgin Holidays, TUI UK and LoveHolidays have refunded, or committing to paying back, more than £200million to customers.
Here are the latest refund and voucher policies for some of the major airlines and holiday providers:
British Airways: Vouchers issued by BA following coronavirus disruption must be redeemed for travel before April 2023.
This means you must have returned from your trip by this date.
If a customer’s flight is cancelled, they can claim a full cash refund.
British Airways has also waived its fee to change bookings.
Ryanair: Ryanair offers vouchers equal to the cost of the cancelled flights, and these are valid for 12 months.
It has also extended the use-by date for some vouchers so that they expire on December 2021.
As this is the expiry date, you can use your vouchers against travel after this time – for example, if you want to book a Ryanair trip for next year.
Again, if your flight has been cancelled by the airline, you can claim a refund.
In addition, Ryanair has scrapped its flight change fee for all new bookings made after June 10, 2020, but before March 31, 2021, for travel before October 31, 2021.
Virgin: For its Virgin Atlantic arm, it has a flexible ticket policy so you can make changes to your trip.
For trips booked before April 30, 2022, you can make unlimited date changes and one name change free of charge for trips taken before April 30, 2023.
You can ask for a refund if your trip is cancelled.
For Virgin Holidays, the firm is issuing an ATOL-protected voucher that must be redeemed by 30 September, 2021, for trips that could be taken by 30 April, 2023.
Jet2: Jet2Holidays has suspended all trips up to and including April 14, 2021.
Meanwhile, holidays to Iceland are suspended up to and including April 26, 2021.
If you're affected by these changes, you'll get a full refund automatically.
If you're due to travel from April 15 2021 onwards, Jet2Holidays said it'll provide an update closer to the time.
TUI: Package holidays booked with TUI are ATOL protected meaning customers will be fully refunded.
Alternatively, you'll be offered a refund credit as well as a booking incentive if you waive the cash refund.
If you want a cash rather than credit, you can fill in an online form to request this.
If you no longer want to travel, TUI customers can make fee-free changes up until either 21 or 28 days before you original departure date depending on when you booked.
More than two million holidaymakers have been left out of pocket over flights they could not take due to Covid rules.
The government has announced last week that domestic holidays could go ahead from April 12 at the earliest, for one household-holidays and at self-catered accommodation, while group holidays can start from May 17.
However, holidays abroad haven't yet been confirmed, with hopes that they could start from May as well.
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