If your 2020 vacation was ruined by corona, you could have received a refund already or a state-guaranteed corona travel voucher from the tour operator. This was meant to protect the industry from a wave of bankruptcies.
The Corona travel vouchers were valid until December 31, 2021. If they have not been redeemed by then, the tour operator must reimburse the advance payments made by mid-January at the latest.
Corona travel vouchers summary
- Corona travel vouchers were meant to protect the industry from a wave of bankruptcies.
- They were valid until December 31, 2021.
- If you have not redeemed your voucher, the money can and should now be paid out automatically.
- If not, use the sample letter below to request a payment
What is a Corona travel voucher?
The Corona travel vouchers are vouchers that also contain state protection in the event of the tour operator’s insolvency. Tour operators could offer this instead of a reimbursement of the travel price of a package tour if this was booked before March 8, 2020 and the traveler or tour operator withdrew from this due to the COVID-19 pandemic. These vouchers were accepted on a voluntary basis.
▶ Trips booked after March 8, 2020 are excluded from the rule.
The Corona vouchers must contain the following information:
- Value of the travel voucher
- Issuance of the voucher due to the COVID-19 pandemic
- Validity period
- Obligation to repay the tour operator
- Additional state coverage of the voucher in the event of the tour operator’s bankruptcy
How do I get the refund?
Anyone who did not redeemed their travel voucher by December 31, 2021 should receive a payment from the organizer immediately. A period of 14 days applies.
If the travel organizer does not comply with this obligation, those affected can use the sample letter below to request a payment. It only needs to be supplemented with your own contact details and the address of the tour operator and can then be sent to the provider by registered mail or fax.
Do I get the total value of the voucher back?
The corona travel vouchers issued include at least the prepayments already made by the consumer and must be paid out. Under certain circumstances, the voucher value can also be higher, as some organizers have offered a higher voucher value as an incentive. Because some tour operators have offered their customers a “bonus” (for example € 50) if they opt for a voucher. It is still unclear whether this will also be paid out.
Sample letter: Corona travel vouchers payout request
Use this FREE sample letter to demand a reimbursement:
How to use the free sample letter:
- Copy the text into a Word processor (Microsoft Word, Open Office, etc.).
- Complete it with yours Sender information, the address of the
travel company to which the sample letter should go, as well as all other required information. Delete the section that does not apply to you.
- Send this letter by fax using the qualified transmission report or by post (registered mail!) to the travel company / the tour provider.
Important: If your tour operator went banktupt
A reimbursement can only be made by the German Federal Office of Justice if the following requirements are met:
- A package travel contract was concluded before March 8, 2020. A trip is only a package tour if the traveler has booked at least two different types of travel services (e.g. flight, hotel and rental car) from a tour operator as a complete package for the purpose of the same trip.
- The traveler or tour operator has withdrawn from this package travel contract as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- The traveler has accepted a travel voucher from the tour operator in accordance with Article 240 § 6 EGBGB instead of a refund of the travel price .
- The tour operator is insolvent, insolvency proceedings have been opened against his assets, or an application for opening has been rejected for lack of assets.
- The traveler has requested reimbursement of the advance payments made from the customer money insurer named in the package travel contract.
- The customer money insurer has limited its liability for the total amounts to be reimbursed to EUR 110 million and therefore only partially satisfied the traveler’s claim.
Please do not apply for a refund of the remainder of the prepayments you have made until all of the above requirements have been met. In particular, you must have already contacted the customer money guarantor and only received a prorated refund from them. If this has not yet been done, no reimbursement can be made by the Federal Office of Justice.