Is it safe to travel to Thailand?Refunds unlikely for cancelled Thailand holidays

23 May 2014

Thailand plane

A military coup in Thailand has led the Foreign Office (FCO) to advise British tourists in Thailand to exercise ‘extreme caution’.

Visitors to Thailand have been ordered to stay inside from 10pm to 5am until further notice and the FCO advises that tourists remain alert to the situation and avoid all protest sites, political gatherings, demonstrations or marches.

Foreign Secretary William Hague has urged Britons in Thailand or thinking of travelling there to monitor the FCO's travel advice, which is being updated as events develop.

If you were planning to travel to Thailand but are unsure if you still want to go, you should find out your rights if you cancel a holiday due to unrest.

Package holidays to Thailand

If you have already booked a package holiday to Thailand and the tour operator is running the holiday as normal, but you decide to cancel, you will be unlikely to get a refund unless the FCO has advised against all but essential travel.

Even if you no longer want to go, the tour operator does not have to give you a refund or find an alternative if it can provide you a safe, secure and enjoyable holiday.

However, if the FCO says it's unsafe to travel, most tour operators will cancel your trip and find you an alternative or give you a refund. If this happened while you are in Thailand, the tour operator would have a responsibility to get you home.

Travel insurance and cancellations

People who have already booked flights and accommodation separately are more likely to lose out if the FCO advises against travel to Thailand.  Scheduled airlines may still operate flights and hotels that remain open may not issue a refund if you cancel.

It is worth considering a travel insurance policy that provides cover for outbreaks of civil unrest. You can see which companies offer this in our comparison of unexpected events cover.

However, if the FCO has not advised against all non-essential travel to the area, insurance companies are unlikely to pay out if you decide to cancel your trip solely because of safety fears due to civil unrest.

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