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Last reviewed on 13 May 2020
Ref: 40244
School types: All · School phases: All

Find out who to speak to, what the DfE insurance scheme covers, and what you can do if your travel provider isn't playing fair.

Check what refunds you're entitled to 

Speak to your travel provider and credit card company 

First, get in touch with your travel provider(s), including booking agents and tour operators. 

Find out if you're entitled to any refunds, but bear in mind you may not be – it'll all depend on the terms and conditions of your booking. 

If you have no luck with your travel provider(s) and you paid by credit card, check if you can get a refund from your credit card company. 

If you're entitled to a refund, but can't get one

If your Ts&Cs state you should get a refund but your travel provider or credit card company is refusing or making it difficult, you can report the business to the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). 

Find out more about the complaints process here.

Bear in mind, you may not get a refund at the end of this process, so it's still worth speaking to your insurance provider too – read on for more advice on this. 

Check if you're covered by insurance 

The RPA covers refunds of cancelled trips 

The risk protection arrangement (RPA) is the Department for Education's alternative to commercial insurance. If you're a member you'll be covered for the following: 

  • Cancelled overseas and UK travel
  • To reclaim costs for any affected children, where the travel provider has offered to rearrange a trip but some children can't attend the new date

But you should first:

  • Speak to your travel provider(s) – and credit card company, in the case of cancellations – to see if you can get any money back
  • Provide evidence that you've done this in your claim

Read the FAQs on COVID-19 and submit a claim from the claims portal (TopMark Claims Management is the chosen provider for the RPA). 

If you're not a member of the RPA, speak to your travel insurance provider 

  • Check your travel insurance policy or speak to your provider 
  • Your insurance may cover some non-refundable costs – most insurers will cover you when there's government advice against travelling


In addition to the RPA FAQs linked to above, when writing this article we referred to guidance from: 

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