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Coronavirus FAQs

Last Updated: Friday 29th May 19:00

New Bookings

We understand that customers may have some questions or queries they wish to ask before they make a booking at the current time

Below we have provided some frequently asked questions that should help to guide you with any queries you may have. We hope that this information will be helpful.

This page is kept up to date as frequently as possible, but please accept our apologies for any delays in updating this information following any government announcements as they happen.

Yes, you can make a booking with us as long as it departs on, or after the 4th July 2020.

At the current time, holiday accommodation in England is grouped with other hospitality businesses and the government’s most recent advice is that these businesses will not reopen before this date. In Scotland and Wales there are different rules set out by the devolved administrations for when holiday accommodation may re-open.

The government advice across all three countries is constantly being updated and we will continue to update our policies in line with the government updates.

Customers can book with confidence and know that if you are unable to travel because a property is unavailable due to government restrictions, you will have options to amend your booking as needed.

As you can see in the below section for existing bookings, we have introduced a number of polices that allow guests as much flexibility as possible around their holidays, allowing bookings to be amended, extending balance payment dates and other options where needed.

All of our properties are already cleaned to a high standard and in light of the current situation all of our property owners have been provided with additional information around changeovers, key collection and cleaning best practice to help reduce the risks at properties where possible.

We will review our policy in line with the government advice as it is issued, as a minimum, every 3 weeks.


Existing Bookings

Please see an open letter from our CEO here. (Published Sunday 22nd March 11:40AM)

We recognise that many of you will be looking for information regarding your booking, but we ask that you please bear with us during this time, as our Customer Service Team are dealing with an unprecedented volume of enquiries.

We have provided as much information as possible in our FAQs below to help with different scenarios; these contain all the information and instructions that our agents would be able to give if you were to contact them.

We appreciate your patience at this time and thank you for your consideration.

Important note: We are currently prioritising amends to bookings for customers with bookings due to depart before the 15th June 2020.

General

Depending on the date of your holiday, different actions are available to you. Please see the sections below which are based on your original holiday date and then follow the instructions relevant to you. If you then wish to amend your booking, you can do so by logging in to your online customer account.

Our team are currently working extremely hard to get back to all of our customers about each and every query received as quickly as possible. We appreciate that in these uncertain times you would like a quicker response than normal. Unfortunately, due to the sheer volume of enquiries, we apologise that this isn’t possible at the moment.

If you have not yet done so, you can submit any requests within your online customer account. This will ensure that our team can prioritise enquiries in the correct order and have all of the information needed before reaching out to guests to resolve all queries.

We will review our policy in line with the government advice as it is issued, as a minimum, every 3 weeks.

Insurance

If you have purchased insurance through holidaycottages.co.uk or another of The Travel Chapter brands, your insurance is provided by Towergate. Your insurance documents were provided to you at the time of booking.

If you purchased travel insurance through holidaycottages.co.uk before 17th March 2020, then you should be covered if: you are diagnosed as having coronavirus, or you are required to self-isolate, or if you or a member of your household has contracted the illness, provided that the holiday date coincides with the period of self-isolation and you obtain a case reference from NHS111, please see further information online. Please contact Towergate to discuss your circumstances further.

If you transfer your booking using our Special Customer Amendments Policy, please note we have been informed that Towergate will allow the policy to be transferred to the amended booking, but that it will not cover any future claim relating to coronavirus.

Policies purchased after Monday 17th March 2020 will not cover claims relating to coronavirus.

If you transfer your booking using our Special Customer Amendments Policy, please note we have been informed that Towergate will allow the policy to be transferred to the amended booking, but that it will not cover any future claim relating to coronavirus.

For policies purchased before 1st January 2020 contact: [email protected]
For policies purchased on or after 1st January 2020 contact: [email protected]

For holidays up until 3rd July 2020

Based on the current government guidance, holiday accommodation will not be open in England during this time.

The government’s advice and guidance on this issue is changing frequently, so we are asking all customers to follow the latest updates before making any decision to travel. We ask that all customers consider this guidance as well as their own personal circumstances and any impact on the communities our holiday properties are situated before deciding if they should travel during this period.

The devolved governments of Scotland and Wales are setting out rules which may be different to those announced in England. At the current time it is not yet clear when properties in Scotland and Wales will open. We are continuing to keep up to date with the latest advice and will make that available to our customers as and when there is more clarity on holiday accommodation opening.

Yes. You can amend your booking without incurring any administration charges. To find out more about this, please visit our Special Customer Amendments Policy.

If you wish to amend your holiday dates, you can do so from within your online account by selecting the button to “amend booking”.

If you transfer your booking using our Special Customer Amendments Policy, we have been informed that Towergate will allow the policy to be transferred to the amended booking, but that it will not cover any future claim relating to coronavirus.

During normal times our prices are subject to change depending on seasonality and property demand.

It is possible that a customer looking to travel at a different time to their original booking will find the cost of the holiday has either increased or decreased depending on a variety of factors such as seasonality, school holidays, bank holidays, changeover days, short break rules and the property’s individual characteristics. It is also possible if you booked your holiday last minute, the property was originally booked with a discount.

If a customer selects to change to a date where the price has increased, the customer will need to pay the difference in price. If a customer selects to change to a date where the price has decreased, the customer will be refunded the difference.

We have not increased any prices due to the coronavirus pandemic.

If you have accessed the “amend booking” section within your account, you can let us know if you are having issues with your amendment by clicking on the link from within your account. Our team will then be in touch with you as soon as possible to help resolve any issues.

If you wish to cancel, you can do so by visiting your online customer account and selecting the button to amend your booking and selecting the option at the bottom of the page.

The option to amend your booking within your customer account will only appear if you have not previously amended your booking or if your holiday date is in the future.

If you need to make an amendment and cannot do so from in your customer account, you should contact our Customer Service Team.

If a customer has chosen to amend their booking, a customer has 24 hours in which to make changes to this resolution if they wish to. Once this period has passed, it is not possible to change the resolution of an amended booking and the agreed outcome will be final. Please contact our customer services team if you need to do this.

For holidays beginning between 4th July and 31st August 2020

We hope that you should be able to go on holiday as normal during this time. However, as the government advice is changing frequently, we are asking all customers to follow the latest advice from the government and consider their own personal circumstances before deciding if they should travel.

The devolved governments of Scotland and Wales are setting out rules which may be different to those announced in England. At the current time it is not yet clear when properties in Scotland and Wales will open. We are continuing to keep up to date with the latest advice and will make that available to our customers as and when there is more clarity on holiday accommodation opening.

We are continuing to monitor government guidance and will review our policies in line with this. If the government impose travel restrictions for the period you wish to go on holiday, we will work to get to a suitable resolution at the right time. 

We will review our policies in line with the government updates, at least every 3 weeks.

Please note: We do not automatically debit balances from your account and will be in touch with you via email regarding your balance payment. 

As the advice is being constantly updated, we understand that this can be an uncertain time, especially for any guest who would normally be due to pay their balance soon.

We have therefore introduced a new Special Balance Payments Policy to help ease the worry of our customers who have balances due and would like to wait longer before making a decision as to whether to go ahead or to cancel their booking.

We will review the period for which this policy applies every 3 weeks in line with the government guidance around any lockdown periods.

As per our standard booking terms, a guest’s deposit is non-refundable.

Under normal circumstances guests are required to pay the balance for their holiday not later than 9 weeks (63 days) before their holiday is due to commence.

However, due to the on-going situation with coronavirus, we have introduced a new Special Balance Payments Policy to help ease the worry of our customers who have balances due and would like to wait longer before making a decision as to whether to go ahead or to cancel their booking.

If you wish to cancel, you can do so by visiting your online customer account and selecting the button to ‘amend your booking’ and then selecting the option at the bottom of the page.

For holidays beginning after 31st August 2020

We hope that you will be able to go on holiday as normal during this time. 

However, we are continuing to monitor government guidance and will review our policies in line with this at least every 3 weeks.

If the government impose travel restrictions for the period you wish to go on holiday, we will work to get to a suitable resolution at the right time.

Please note: We do not automatically debit balances from your account. We will be in touch with you via email regarding your balance payment prior to requesting it from you.

As the advice is being constantly updated, we understand that this can be an uncertain time, especially for any guest who would normally be due to pay their balance soon.

We will review the period for which this policy applies every 3 weeks in line with the government guidance around any lockdown periods.

As per our standard booking terms, a guest’s deposit is non-refundable.

Guests have until 9 weeks (63 days) before their holiday to pay their balance. As holidays in these periods are further away, we believe guests have more time to see how the situation develops before making a decision on whether to cancel their booking or not.

Please keep up to date with our latest FAQs and policies which we will update in line with the government advice as it is issued, as a minimum, every 3 weeks.

If you wish to cancel, you can do so by visiting your online customer account and selecting the button to ‘amend your booking’ and then selecting the option at the bottom of the page.

The Travel Chapter Limited, trading as holidaycottages.co.uk | The Travel Chapter Limited is registered in England and Wales. | Registered office Travel Chapter House Gammaton Road Bideford EX39 4DF Company No. 02431506 | VAT reg: 143053210