Customers are still owed over £1 billion in refunds for cancelled package holidays

Customers are still waiting for more than £1 billion to be refunded for package holidays cancelled due to coronavirus. 

The data was gathered by consumer choice brand Which? – with four out of 10 respondents claiming they had waited longer than a month to get their money back for booked trips abroad. 

Consumer protection law requires airlines to provide full refunds within 14 days of a request. 

However, unprecedented demand for reimbursements has left the depleted travel industry struggling to keep up.

Solen Feyissa / Unsplash

Travel disruption originally began in March – when the UK entered a lockdown period that ultimately lasted almost four months. 

As many as nine million people have requested refunds for cancelled trips during that period. But at the start of last month, more than a fifth of (21%) were still waiting to be refunded.

Back in September, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) launched an investigation into TUI UK after receiving thousands of complaints of unfulfilled refunds. 

Earlier this week, Ryanair CEO Michael fielded questions on BBC Radio 5 Live following accusations that his airline had failed to refund customers – claiming all passengers who inquired had gotten their money back.

Sourav Mishra / Pexels

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.”

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