Holidaymakers have been met with yet another blow as TUI announces a six week extension of cancellations.
The company said all trips will be cancelled up to and including 11 June, warning customers who want a cash refund to be patient as phone lines are “extremely busy”.
Why have more holidays been cancelled?
The travel company had previously suspended all of its operations up until 11 May, with its Marella Cruises sailings postponed until 1 July at the earliest.
TUI’s launch of river cruises has also been postponed until late November.
The cancellations, which come as a result of on-going travel restrictions across the world, have impacted nearly 900,000 people.
What happens if my holiday is cancelled?
Customers who have been affected by the cancellations have been told they will receive a full refund credit for the value of their holiday.
This can then be used to book another holiday that takes place before the end of October 2021.
Those who booked a package holiday will receive an additional credit worth up to 20 per cent of their booking.
What if I want a cash refund?
TUI said that customers who are “unable to accept” a refund credit can apply for a cash refund instead.
However, the company warned that its call centre staff are “incredibly busy”, meaning waiting times are “considerably longer than usual”.
Simon Cooper, founder and chief executive of rival travel agency On The Beach said last week that failing to pay cash refunds is "a bad idea", as it will likely mean struggling companies will be forced to "massively increase" their prices for next year to avoid bankruptcy.
Am I legally entitled to a refund?
UK law states that a full refund should be given within 14 days for a cancelled package holiday.
Consumer group Which? recently revealed that 20 of the UK’s largest airlines and travel firms are illegally withholding refunds that should be paid to customers within 14 days, while some are refusing to provide refunds at all.
Instead most customers have been offered vouchers or credit notes, with many complaining they have been unable to claim a refund online, or get through to customers services on the phone to arrange for a refund.
While travel companies are entitled to offer alternatives to a refund, such as a credit note, in the event of cancelled bookings, they must also offer the option of a cash refund within 14 days.
How can I get a refund for my cancelled holiday?
TUI has advised that customers with cancelled holidays will automatically receive a refund credit for the full value of their holiday along with a separate booking incentive of up to 20 per cent.
Customers who were due to travel before 16 April will receive their refund credit via email by 1 May 2020, and those due to travel after this date will receive it four weeks after the departure date.
Those “unable to accept” a refund credit can apply for a refund by calling 0203 451 2868 between 9am and 7am from Monday to Friday.
However, TUI is requesting that customers don’t contact them until they have first received their refund credit, so they can help assist customers in date order.
For more information on refunds, visit tui.co.uk