By Laura Kemp • 13 May 2021 • 16:55
TUI Netherlands cancels holidays to the Balearics. Credit - Twitter
UK travel firms have been warned that they need to inform travellers of their rights with regards to refunds.
UK travel firms have been warned that they need to inform travellers of their rights with regards to refunds, The Guardian has reported. The holiday industry has been warned by the UK’s competition regulator forcing TUI, Europe’s biggest travel company, to be more transparent with their customers on getting a refund.
Today, May 13, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said it had contacted 100 package tour companies to remind them of their obligation to offer refunds for cancelled holidays and return the cash within two weeks.
The travel sector has been one of the worst-hit sectors during the health crises and international travel is still heavily restricted even amongst countries that have steamed ahead with their vaccinations.
Online travel agent, On the Beach, said on Wednesday that it would not sell holidays for summer 2021 in June, July or August due to uncertainty over whether they would go ahead.
The warning from the CMA follows an announcement from the UK about easing restrictions on holidays, with travellers from England permitted to travel to a dozen “green list” destinations as of Monday, May 17. The “green list” destinations are currently Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Brunei, Iceland, the Faroe Islands, Gibraltar, the Falkland Islands, Israel and Portugal, including the Azores and Madeira, and two British overseas territories in the Atlantic.
The repeated failure of travel firms informing customers of their right to cash refunds if a booking is forced to be cancelled has caused concern for the regulator. The CMA has said it has received over 23,000 complaints from people about issues with refunds since March 2020.
Travel company, TUI, has formally promised to provide clear information on consumers rights to refunds following an intervention from the CMA. Lastminute.com, LoveHolidays, Teletext Holidays and Virgin Holidays were also forced to offer cash refunds instead of only offering credit notes.
CMA’s chief executive, Andrea Coscelli, said: “We want to make sure people are fully aware of their refund rights, so they can make informed choices about booking a holiday.
“We’ve secured millions in refunds for people who couldn’t go on their hard-earned trips over the past year and now we’re calling on package holiday companies to make the refund process less hassle in the future. We expect all firms to give clear cancellation options and will consider appropriate steps if we see companies breaking the law by refusing or delaying refunds this summer.”
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Originally from UK, Laura is based in Axarquia and is a writer for the Euro Weekly News covering news and features.
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