Coronavirus Advice for Stags and Hens
Updated 24th September 2020
Don't let the coronavirus stop you booking your hen or stag. Due to the amount of uncertainty surrounding the travel industry at the minute, we thought it best to help provide some clarity. This page will answer a lot of those common questions we are asked around Covid-19 relating to hen & stag groups.
Funktion Events are always monitoring any coronavirus updates and new information from the government as well as ABTA for travel. We are continually working within the guidelines given by Public Health England and the Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO).
NEW Announcements - We are contacting parties that are affected by imminent travel. There is currently no end date to these new legislative restrictions so you need to ensure your final balance is paid on time to prevent cancellations as per ABTA guidelines. Also some events are exempt from the ruling and some can still be run following covid secure venues guidelines. If you feel your event is directly affected by the new covid-19 law then please contact us.
24th September 2020 - We have listened to our current postponed customers and discussed the concerns with our suppliers. We are glad to now report we are able to extend everyone’s postponements to 24 months from their original event date.
Prior to your final balance which is due 6 weeks* prior to the event you can:
✓ Change your destination free of charge
✓ Change activities free of charge
✓ Postpone your trip free of charge for up to 24 months from original event date
✓ Decrease or increase your group size as much as you like (subject to availability and minimum group size for activities)
*unless it has been agreed differently with your event manager
Existing Bookings with FE
What if my local area goes into lockdown & I cannot travel to the event due to COVID-19?
Unfortunately, if our suppliers decide your event can still go ahead because they are not in lockdown you will not be eligible for a refund or postponed event. In this case, you will need to claim through your travel insurance provider. If you need documentation to support your claim, please email us what you need.
If the destination of my event is affected with a lockdown, what is the protocol?
In the case where a destination (abroad or UK) goes into localised lockdown and all the activities cannot take place then this means you can either postpone, have a credit note or a refund.
If one or multiple activities on our booking are unable to run due to COVID-19, what options are available to us?
We will always try to find a suitable alternative activity for your group so the event can still go ahead. If there is no alternatives, we will provide a refund for that activity on your package. However any other activities that are still able to run can’t be refunded.
We’re nervous to proceed with our event due to these unsure times, are we still required to pay our final balance?
For all bookings we strongly advise to pay your final balance before the deadline so your event doesn’t get cancelled. You can also contact your Events Manager for the best options for your specific booking and situation. Please refer to the ABTA website for more information under the section “Do I need to pay the remaining balance for my upcoming holiday”
Can we have an extension on the groups balance deadline?
This is dealt with by our Events Managers on a case by case basis, so please contact us to see if you’re eligible. Ensure you contact us prior to the final balance deadline.
What if we decide not to go ahead with our event because of COVD-19 – do we have options?
If our suppliers deem it safe to proceed with the event but you choose not to go ahead our standard terms apply. See our terms here.
My event has been cancelled due to COVID-19 but can I re-book now?
Absolutely! Availability is booking up for 2021 so we suggest you get in touch as soon as you can to get re-booked in.
New Bookings with FE
Is it safe to go ahead with my booking?
Funktion Events are tirelessly following government guidelines to make sure every booking is safe to go ahead whenever possible. We also offer:
✓ One Low Group Deposit - £40 for the entire group on any booking with us. (not per person)
✓ Deposit Guarantee - We'll guarantee your deposit so should you have to cancel for any reason 6 weeks or more prior to your event, we'll hold your deposit open for 24 months from the original event date.
✓ ABTA Bonded – We are governed by ABTA who have some of the highest standards in the travel industry.
Is our money in safe hands?
To alleviate your worries, we’re an ABTA bonded company so your money is safe when booking packages with us.
Do we need travel insurance?
Even before the pandemic we always suggest getting travel insurance before travelling – especially abroad. Now more than ever we highly recommend appropriate cover for COVID-19.
ABTA have teamed up with AXA to offer travel insurance. https://travelsure.abta.com
What is the latest point of cancellation?
Our standard terms still apply, and the cancellation policy is 6 weeks before the event for packages and 5 weeks for activities. However, please contact your Events Manager for more case by case information.
What is the protocol if there is another UK full lockdown?
If we can’t run the event due to restrictions, we would offer the chance to postpone to a later date, credit note to be used against any event, or if we can’t help then a refund.
Does Funktion Events need the deposit upon booking?
Yes, we need a single group deposit of £40 to secure your activities or package as well as your estimated group size. We don't require deposits per person.
If the FCDO advises against travel to our event destination will I get my money back?
If you are directly affected by covid-19 when your group are due for imminent travel to a destination that the FCO advices against "all but essential travel" to, then we will offer an alternative, postponement or refund.
What if our flights are cancelled/disrupted?
If your flights are affected please direct your enquiries to your airline and travel insurance providers. Unfortunately, if our suppliers decide your event can still go ahead because they are not in lockdown you will not be eligible for a refund or credit note or postponement.
If our flights are cancelled can we receive a credit from you?
Firstly, if there are any issues with your flights please contact your airline and travel insurance providers directly. Numerous airlines are offering rescheduled flights at no extra cost. If the FCO doesn’t advise against "all but essential travel" to the destination and we can still run your event then no refund, credit note or postponement. will be issued.
Is there an option to postpone our event or change location?
In most cases yes but other agreements might have been made when booking. If 6 weeks away from the event then we can offer the deposit guarantee which means you can change location, date and activities for free.
If you are within 6 weeks you need to contact us directly so we can discuss / review your case. The earlier you contact us the more chance we have of offering postponements.
Are you travelling within the next 7 days?
If you’re event is due to take place within the next 7 days we will contact you as soon as possible if your booking has been directly affected by COVID-19 restrictions.
Are you travelling within the next 6 weeks?
Once we’ve contacted and helped imminent bookings, we will reach out to customers whose events are taking place within the next 6 weeks who are directly effected by Covid-19. As the situation can change daily we always want to share relevant and up to date information with you.
Please Note: We only contact the lead organiser of the booking who can then share the information with the rest of the group.
How has FE dealt with Covid so far?
Funktion HQ Closes Office
Like everyone, we had to close the office in March 2020 and send all our staff home with very little warning and chance to prepare.
We went from taking over 20 group bookings every 24 hours to zero in a matter of days.
Over 650 Groups Directly Affected
Our line phones and emails went crazy from rightly concerned and frustrated clients from over 650 groups directly affected by Covid-19. We had staff furloughed, IT systems not designed for home working and hundreds of questions to answer. It took us a few weeks to adjust our ways of working but we ultimately started to get on top of things and respond to customers within a fair and timely manner.
Refunded over £110,000
Our priority was to ensure that customers who had their hen or stag affected by coronavirus could postpone, take a credit note or have a refund.
During the first few months we refunded back all our customers to the tune of over £110,000. Our customers were extremely understanding which we would like to thank them for.
Looking back, we feel we did a decent job of refunding back so quickly when comparing to our competitors and other travel businesses. Some airlines and competitors still haven't refund everyone back 6 months on.
ZERO Negative Reviews
That’s right! We received 0 negative reviews throughout the whole COVID pandemic between March and September 2020!
How many other travel companies can say that! When looking to book for a future hen or stag event look at our competitors reviews during the same period to see how they handled their customers. We are focused 100% on customers!
Huge thank you to all our customers who from our constant communication understood that we were doing our best during this pandemic.
Fully Compliant with ABTA
As members of ABTA we followed all their guidance and ensured customers were not told incorrect information.
We refunded all our customers within their updated timescales.
We renewed our membership and bond requirements even when the covid-19 disease was accelerating as we understand the importance to protect customers money.
Safe & Secure
With refunds sorted we refocussed on the future. With a plan of action we contacted our suppliers and venues across the UK & Europe to discuss how to re-open safely following government guidelines.
Suppliers are now updating risk assessments and venues are ensuring they are covid secure.
Following announcements by Boris Johnson & government ministers to encourage workers back into the office to help city centre business survive, we decided to reopen the office.
Following all covid guidelines for offices to reopen safely we now have some staff working on flexi-furlough to take calls and new bookings.
2021 is Booming!
Chatting to our partners in the wedding industry and reading reports from BBC News stating weddings being booked on every day of the week in 2021 we quickly started to see a rise in hen & stags booking for next year.
As the main pre-wedding celebration, if wedding plans are booming then stag & hen events soon follow.
DON'T delay! Your in safe hands with Funktion Events.
More reading on Covid-19
Travel advice from ABTA on coronavirus - https://www.abta.com/news/coronavirus-outbreak
Latest NHS information on Covid-19 - https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/