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Published on Thursday, May 28, 2020

TUI faces fresh criticism as it extends cancellations further

TUI UK and Ireland is extending its cancellations of all beach holidays until the end of June and all Marella Cruises sailings up to 30 July 2020.

Announcing the extended dates, TUI said all affected customers will receive a refund credit and if their booking was for a package they will also get an added incentive of up to 20%. It said customers should receive the refund credit within four weeks of their original departure date.

If customers want to get a refund, they will have to wait for a refund credit code before they request the cash via an online form on the TUI website.

TUI introduced a new self-service online application for refunds after admitting it had kept customers waiting too long and says that once a refund is requested, it will now be paid within four weeks.

But despite TUI speeding up the process, consumer groups have continued to criticise the travel giant, saying it should now start 'following the law' and allow customers to claim a cash refund straight away.

"TUI's decision to extend its holiday cancellations means anyone with a holiday booked for June is now legally entitled to a refund - TUI must now start following the law and allow customers to claim a cash refund for cancelled holidays, rather than issuing them with credit notes they don't want," said Rory Boland, Editor of Which? Travel.

"Too many airlines and holiday companies continue to make it too hard for their customers to get refunds. It's time for the regulators to step up and hold companies that are breaking the law to account. The government must also support travel firms and airlines where necessary, to avoid causing permanent damage to confidence in the travel sector."

A TUI spokeswoman said customers can't apply for cash refunds without a refund credit code because that's the way the technology works.

She said: "We offer customers a refund credit as an alternative allowing customers, including those that have booked in a retail store, the opportunity to amend holidays online and the flexibility or waiting to re-book to another time, whilst keeping their booking ATOL protected.

"We always make it clear that they are able to get a cash refund as an alternative to refund credit. Refund credits are valid until October 31 2021."

TUI said customers due to travel before the end of August can also now amend their bookings for free, as long as they booked on the TUI or First Choice websites or on their apps.

"With so much uncertainty around when travel will be able to recommence customers due to travel before the end of August have the opportunity to amend their holiday for free so they don't have to pay until closer to their new departure date," it added.

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  • Shocking

    Unbelievable that so many holiday companies are on a self destruction course. Why are they so short sighted, just to keep some money in their coffers, but at the huge risk that their reputation will be in shreds. We are keeping a firm eye on which companies treat their customers well, as they will be the ones to get our future business.

    By Sue Cook, Saturday, May 30, 2020

  • is Boland that dumb or

    just grandstanding ? Unless they want travel companies to start printing money, THERE IS NO MONEY for refunds.

    By Michael Anderson, Saturday, May 30, 2020

  • Do they not understand?

    Do they not understand that customers already waiting for a refund will never book with them again and also influence others not to book with TUI. Self imposed destruction.

    By Adrian Loveridge, Friday, May 29, 2020

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