Travel Companies Hold More than £1bn in Refunds for Cancelled Holidays but Are Over-Whelmed by the Number of Cancellations.
Travel and holiday companies are required by law to refund the money within 14 days but the sheer number of cancellations has left many of them overwhelmed. Customers are waiting much longer than expected for more than £1bn in refunds due to package holidays being cancelled at the last minute because of coronavirus.
The estimate from the magazine Which? was based on results from a survey of more than 7,500 people who had a package holiday cancelled as a result of the pandemic, as well as population figures. The survey found that around 9.4 million people have had a package holiday cancelled since the UK’s first lockdown in March and, of those who requested a refund, 21% were still waiting at the beginning of October- a seven-month wait!
More than four out of 10 people told Which? they had waited longer than a month for their refund. The average cost of a cancelled holiday was £1,784, the research found. The situation is set to get worse after new rules are introduced across England later this week, banning most international travel.
Rory Boland, editor of Which? Travel said: “Without meaningful intervention from the government and the regulators in this space, many people will struggle to get their money back. “The CMA must take firm action against any operators that are continuing to drag their feet on refunding holidaymakers and the government must urgently set out how it will support travel companies in fulfilling their legal obligations to passengers.”
During the summer, the Competition and Markets Authority launched an investigation into package travel companies’ handling of cancellations and refunds.
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