Hundreds of travellers are facing wedding and vacation disruptions as the Philippines close down the Island of Boracay to tourists for six months. On April 4th, 2018, President Duterte announced that the Philippines would close Boracay Island to tourists from April 26th – October 27th 2018. Police and soldiers will be stationed at Boracay's entry points to turn any wayward tourists away.
If your scheduled arrival in Boracay is before April 26th, you will be able to stay on the island for the full duration of your holiday.
Will the airline refund my Boracay flights?
Natalie Ball, director Comparetravelinsurance.com.au advises:
“Your airline is liable to give you the service you’ve paid for, so you should expect them to reschedule or refund your flight.”
Ball notes that the vast majority of insurers will not pay for cancellations that result from cancellations or rescheduling by an airline. In this case, it is outside the airlines’ control, so you may have provision to claim depending on your policy wording, but your first port of call should be your airline.
Airlines which regularly fly into Kalibo International (Boracay) - AirAsia, Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific - have all made statements that you can:
- rebook your flight to elsewhere in the Philippines
- have the value of the flight added to a travel fund (flight credit with the airline)
- reschedule your flight to when regular flights are expected to resume
- receive a full refund with no penalties
So if you’ve been dreaming of a holiday in paradise and can’t wait for Boracay to reopen, why not visit one of 7460 other islands in the Philippines?
For rebooking, rescheduling, crediting and refunds with AirAsia, Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacifc, scroll to the end of the page. If you’re flying with another airline, check their social media or website, or give them a call.
Will I get a refund for my pre-booked Boracay accommodation?
This one trickier – many accommodation and tour providers will receive compensation from the government as a result of the shut down, but the huge range in accommodation levels, technical support and customer service may mean you find it difficult to have pre-booked activities rescheduled or refunded. As with the airlines, your first point of call is your accommodation or tour provider, or your travel agent. If you already have a comprehensive insurance policy and your accommodation provider will not refund you, Ball advises that you may be eligible to claim with your insurer.
“You may have provision to claim for prepaid expenses and lost deposits. Your claim would be assessed on a case-by-case scenario, and you'd have to have written documentation that your provider will not refund you."
What if I don't have a comprehensive insurance policy already?
Keep your fingers crossed that your airline and accommodation will be rescheduled or refunded. Travel insurers won't cover you for a 'known' event - that is, one that's already happened, and may have been reported in the media. While they won't be able to help you this time, protect yourself from natural disasters, strikes, delays and more by purchasing a comprehensive travel insurance policy as soon as you've booked flights.