Firstly, we wanted to thank you for your patience. We apologise that we may not have been able to provide our usual levels of service whilst we have made arrangements for a number of our staff to work from home.
During this time, we have been working hard to determine how best we are able to support and advise our customers.
We have engaged with a number of professional, trade and other organisations within the youth and educational travel sector to understand the impact of the guidance issued by the UK Government, including specific restrictions imposed by the Department for Education (“DfE”). We have also researched the position with the Association of British Insurers (“ABI”) who represent the UK insurance industry.
If the current advice from the UK Government means your group will be unable to travel, and this therefore has resulted in the cancellation of your trip, we are very pleased to advise the following:
For schools and groups who are not members of the Risk Protection Arrangement, the ABI advice would suggest that you will be able to claim on your General Liability Insurance where government advice has prevented the trip from going ahead, but we recommend that you check with your insurance provider
Transfer to a new date
If you have chosen to defer your trip, then confirmation of this new booking will follow shortly, if you have not already received this.
Travel After 01 June 2020 (for departures in the 2019-20 academic year)
We do understand that there is considerable uncertainty about when and how restrictions on school travel will be lifted, yet as things stand, we are faced with no option but to treat trips scheduled to start this summer as going ahead until Government advice changes.
Conscious of the fact that parents will be reluctant to make the further payments which become due as the travel date approaches, we have written to schools travelling in June or July 2020 to advise that we have extended the deadline for payment of final balance until 14 days (instead of 70 days) before travel date.
To ease the time pressure on a cancellation decision, we have also decided that if school travel restrictions have not been lifted at least 21 days before the travel date, and the tour has not previously cancelled, then we will treat the booking as having been cancelled with effect from 12 March 2020 or 23 March 2020, the date on which the UK Government advised against overseas and UK school trips, respectively.
Equally, if you wish to cancel before this date, provided you cancel at least 21 days before your travel date and by reason of travel restrictions, we will deem your cancellation to have been effected on 12 March 2020 or 23 March 2020 for the purpose of applying our cancellation policy, being the date when school travel restrictions became effective on overseas and UK trips, respectively. We are offering this flexibility to ensure that if you cancel anytime from today, and at least 21 days prior to your travel date, you will only pay the cancellation charges that were applicable at the time the UK Government advised against overseas or UK school trips (12 March 2020 or 23 March 2020, respectively).
We thank you for your support at a time we know has been uncertain and challenging for schools and organisations working with young people and we look forward to looking after you and your groups as soon as government advice allows.