In March, the German travel company Tui cancelled thousands of holidays amid the COCID-19 pandemic.
Many of their popular holiday destinations such as France, Italy, Spain, and the UK are all on lockdown, and the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advised against all but essential international travel, the travel industry has been hit hard by coronavirus.
So far there is no clear date when operations may restart though they anticipate it could be May 14th 2020. Cruises, hotel stays, package holidays and almost all of TUI’s flights are cancelled and the company is offering the opportunity to rearrange their holiday plans.
According to the Package Travel Regulations, all travel companies are required to pay a full cash refund with two weeks of cancelling a trip. This deadline has been a huge challenge for travel companies across the board and even though Tui is a company of Herculean proportions, the financial strains caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has affected them too and they too, have been unable to meet the 14-day refund deadline.
Hundreds of thousands of customers who have had their holiday dreams crushed are having to wait weeks for their refund.
A spokesperson for Tui said:
“Every customer who has requested a cash refund will receive them shortly. We apologise for the delay but we are getting through them.”
Tui’s Refund Procedure
The company has put in place a system for refunding their customers for cancelled holidays.
- All holidays before 15 May 2020 have been cancelled. Affected holidaymakers will receive a refund credit for the full value of the holiday.
- After the refund credit note has been received holidaymakers can then ask for a refund. This should happen around four weeks after the departure date.
Why is Tui issuing Refund Credits rather than cash?
A spokesperson for Tui explained:
“They have to wait for a refund credit to be issued to make sure that is removed from their booking, before we offer a cash refund to make sure they don’t receive both.
“We’ve worked for weeks on best solution for our customers – and will work through bookings as quickly as we can.”
If you would like to rearrange a holiday that was due to be taken before June 30th rather than receive a refund Tui said:
From 17 March 2020 if you have an existing TUI, Marella Cruises, First Choice or TUI River Cruise package holiday booking travelling on or before 30 June 2020 you can amend for free to any holiday on sale. You can do this up to seven days before your original departure date. Please refer to booking terms and conditions for more information.
“This policy is in place until 31 May 2020. Therefore, customers travelling from 8 June-20 June 2020 should make any amends before 30 May 2020.”