How coronavirus is wreaking havoc with readers’ travel plans

The Observer has been inundated with queries about flights and bookings since the outbreak. Our expert gives her advice

The numbers of diagnosed coronavirus cases in the UK is still relatively low, but the epidemic has been causing havoc for those with travel plans. As the situation evolves, individual countries – and travel operators – are introducing different policies, leaving some travellers stranded, others uncertain and many out of pocket. Advice from airlines has been confusing, with some offering refunds or rebookings to passengers headed for risky regions and some leaving them to their fate. Insurers are similarly divided in what they will and won’t offer. For those wondering what to do about an impending holiday, it’s important to know when a refund is a right and when it depends on goodwill.

I’m due to go on holiday to Venice this month but I’m worried about the infection in northern Italy. I’m a diabetic and the symptoms could prove severe. If I cancel am I entitled to my money back?
RD, Buxton, Derbyshire

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