Skipped holidays, canceled trips, stopped operators. The spread of the Coronavirus has represented a real shock for the travel world and an infinite series of problems and disappointments for travelers. In fact, millions of people have been forced to give up holidays, cancel trips, cancel trips, due to illness or travel restrictions applied by individual countries.
To manage the particularly difficult moment, explain the experts of ACI blueteam, a reality of the ACI Automobile Club of Italy group, specialized in services in the field of Travel and Holidays, Events and Business Travel, in Italy the legislator intervened in several phases, with the aim to regulate cancellation procedures. It did so initially through articles 88 and 88-bis of the Law Decree 18/2020 (Decreto Cura Italia), converted with amendments by law 27/2020.
Stays and tourist packages
Basically, the law provided that, in the event of the travel contract being terminated, the organizer could issue a voucher, instead of a refund, which could be spent within 12 months of its issue. The Law 17.7.2020 n. 77, which converted the Relaunch Decree with amendments, made some changes: the extension of the validity of the voucher was extended to 18 months, subsequently to 24 and with an amendment to the Milleproroghe Decree Law, the current 30 months were reached. In short, the traveler has 30 months to spend the value recognized by the covid voucher at the same agency and with the same organizer, a deadline beyond which he can request a refund. There are also few restrictions on the destination, because most operators allow free choice. In case of partial use of the voucher, it remains active until the expiry of the remaining amount. Although the law does not intervene on this aspect, it should be noted that many operators allow the transfer of the voucher to third parties.
Different reimbursement times for transport vouchers: plane, ship, train and bus. Also for these, the validity has been extended to 30 months, but thanks to the Relaunch Decree, reimbursement is foreseen, for those who want to request it, already 12 months after the issue. It is good to specify that the reported rules apply only to vouchers issued for transport cancellations linked to the covid, not to other courtesy vouchers issued by companies, which instead follow the conditions defined by the issuers.
Times and rules to be respected
In the case of using the voucher, the traveler is required to book his holiday within the expiry date of the same, even if the departure can be later. On the other hand, in the event of a refund request, the operator is required to return the value to the traveler within 14 days from the expiry of the voucher. To activate this procedure, just an email requesting the intermediary or organizer who issued the voucher.