It could possibly be challenged in a court too, but more expense with no guarantee.
Amazingly, several airlines are still running flights in and out of UK airports, meaning the trip is not cancelled.
Richard Colbey, a barrister at Lamb Chambers, says the fact that it is currently illegal to go on holiday to, say Lisbon, means that the contract between the passenger and the airline can be deemed to be “frustrated”. In such cases a refund is due, although the customer may have to resort to the courts to get the money.
The easier option for many will be to claim on travel insurance. Because the government advised against all but essential travel, policies should pay cancellation claims provided you bought it before the pandemic was declared on 11 March.