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Should I Pay the Full Amount on a Cancelled Holiday?

By: Sarah Clark (ILEX) - Updated: 13 Feb 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Should I Pay The Full Amount On A Cancelled Holiday?

Q.

I have booked a holiday via an Internet site - 1 week in the middle of april 2009, and I have realised that the school Easter holiday break has changed.

Unfortunately the cottage is booked at the Easter period, so I have asked if I can transfer my booking to a different cottage. The company has advised that I can't and I am liable to pay the full amount of the holiday in April unless someone else books it.

What are my rights? I thought we would lose the deposit, but not be liable to pay the full amount? Unless someone else books the holiday,we will now have to foot the bill, and also end up with no Easter holiday unless we take the children out of school.

(Mrs HF, 30 January 2009)

A.

Unfortunately, this all depends on the terms and conditions in your holiday brochure. Because you are technically 'breaching the contract' by cancelling the holiday, for whatever reason, you are liable to pay the holiday company what's deemed to be 'reasonable compensation.' for their loss. It would be exactly the same if they had cancelled the holiday, they would be expected to pay you back the full cost of the holiday if you had already paid it up front.

If they manage to sell the holiday, then obviously this won't apply, because the holiday company hasn't lost anything. So it's reasonable for them to have a clause about re-selling in the contract. It's reasonable for you to ask them not to pursue any further requests for payment until they have tried to resell the holiday.

The Package Travel Regulations 1992

The Package Travel Regulations 1992 specify the information must be given to consumers before any package holiday contract is agreed or the holiday starts, and the regulations also state that cancellation terms have to be included in the contract. If your brochure and/or the contract don't mention your rights when you have to cancel your holiday, you could possibly have a case for claiming that they are in breach of the Package Travel Regulations, but it's a difficult one to win.

The Office of Fair Trading is looking into some of the charges that are levied on consumers who have to cancel their holidays, because of concerns that some tour operators' cancellation charges are excessive. In some cases, the OFT has asked the tour operators concerned to justify charging so much, but as yet the enquiries are still under way, so there have been no reported decisions. If some charges are found to be excessive, it's likely to have an effect on all tour operators and holiday companies, because they don't want to fall foul of any OFT regulations.

Insurance Claims

One other avenue you could pursue is claiming the cost of the cancellation back on your insurance policy, although to be fair, many policies are strict when it comes to paying out for cancellations, and might not treat a change of school holiday dates as a good enough reason to refund you. Check your policy, and if you're covered for this eventuality, it's probably your best avenue.

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Clarzier - 13-Feb-17 @ 10:08 PM
Hi , hope you can help ,my daughter and 4 friends booked a holiday , paid a deposit and two have dropped out . The company says that the two who dropped out are liable to pay for the flights snd the cancelled hotel room , which egfectively is the price of the holiday . It was paid for on my daighters card , the two who dropped out are refusing to pay , any advice would be appreciated .paul
Mish - 5-Feb-17 @ 1:31 PM
I have booked a holiday cottage in june2017in Scotland for two weeks . The cottage is now up for sale is my holiday safe what rights do I have ,a deposit has been paid balance to pay end of April . Your advise please . ?
Golden - 27-Jan-17 @ 3:40 PM
The Viking - Your Question:
I'm looking for some advice. My wife and visited our local travel agent (Barrhead Travel) earlier this afternoon. We booked a holiday with Jet2 for ourselves and 2 children for July 2017 and paid our £240 deposit. Once the rep had processed everything I asked to see some photos of the hotel we had booked. Once viewing the photos it turned out that we had booked the incorrect accommodation in error.The rep then contacted Jet2 to try and cancel the holiday so she could return our deposit and then book us into the correct accommodation (This was with a different firm than Jet2). She was advised that they could not do this and we had lost our deposit. I can see the point in us losing our deposit if we had left the shop and tried to cancel at a later date, but we were still sitting in our seats in the shop.Where do we stand on this.

Our Response:
There is no "cooling off" period for a holiday booking. If the error was yours, there is not much you can do about it. If the error was made by the travel agent then you should seek compensation from them for the lost deposit.
YourTravelRights - 3-Aug-16 @ 2:07 PM
I'm looking for some advice. My wife and visited our local travel agent (Barrhead Travel) earlier this afternoon. We booked a holiday with Jet2 for ourselves and 2 children for July 2017 and paid our £240 deposit. Once the rep had processed everything I asked to see some photos of the hotel we had booked. Once viewing the photos it turned out that we had booked the incorrect accommodation in error. The rep then contacted Jet2 to try and cancel the holiday so she could return our deposit and then book us into the correct accommodation (This was with a different firm than Jet2). She was advised that they could not do this and we had lost our deposit. I can see the point in us losing our deposit if we had left the shop and tried to cancel at a later date, but we were still sitting in our seats in the shop. Where do we stand on this.
The Viking - 2-Aug-16 @ 4:32 PM
fieldmouse - Your Question:
Due to a personal issue, I need to cancel a fly cruise holiday booked for June 2017.We paid a £240 deposit on the 2nd May 2016 with the remainder of the deposit to be paid by 27th June 2016. Today (22nd June) I went into Thomson travel agents to cancel, there telling me I still have to pay the outstanding deposit of £160, and loose the full deposit.Can you please advise?

Our Response:
Yes this quite common, if you cancel, you lose your deposit. See section 12 of their Terms and Conditions
YourTravelRights - 23-Jun-16 @ 2:42 PM
Due to a personal issue, I need to cancel a fly cruise holiday booked for June 2017. We paid a £240 deposit on the 2nd May 2016 with the remainder of the deposit to be paid by 27th June 2016. Today (22nd June) I went into Thomson travel agents to cancel, there telling me I still have to pay the outstanding deposit of £160, and loose the full deposit. Can you please advise?
fieldmouse - 22-Jun-16 @ 3:12 PM
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Elaine5833 - 31-May-16 @ 1:45 PM
m4rk - Your Question:
I booked up with friends for a holiday to ayia napa and the amount for each individual has to be paid in 6 days. however, a family member has taken ill and I do not want to go anymore does anyone know how much I will need to pay in extra costs. it says on the regulations that if I let them know 84+ days to departure then all I lose is my deposit, I depart in 100 days. can anyone help with my situation???

Our Response:
Have a look at the cancellation policy on your booking information. This will usually give you a graded scale telling you how much you will need to pay if cancelling at certain times before your holiday. Conusmer rights legislation does allow for any refunds on holiday bookings. Check your travel insurance cancellation policy too.
YourTravelRights - 8-Apr-16 @ 12:23 PM
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m4rk - 7-Apr-16 @ 1:37 AM
Hi, me and my girlfriend recently booked a holiday with Thomas cook for the 23rd of September. We have since found out that my girlfriend is pregnant and have been told it would be unsafe for her to fly on these dates. At present we have only paid £75 but we have been told that we will still have to pay the remainder of the deposit £525 all in all losing £600. Any advice please ??
Hully - 30-Mar-16 @ 5:27 PM
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Concerned - 18-Jan-16 @ 10:14 PM
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DM - 18-Jan-16 @ 12:49 PM
I paid a deposit of £500 on a group holiday , verbal & emailcontact only with providers The group now do not wish to fly to this destination due to terrorism, but providers are asking for a further payment of £500. There are 6 months until we are due to go. ( this is accommodation not flights) how do we stand
debsyoga - 11-Jan-16 @ 3:22 PM
Lola - Your Question:
Need advice my friend and me and our children booked a holiday last year in May I payed my side in full it was a all inclusive holiday took out travel insurance straight away and my friend had a while to pay I have until Sunday to pay the balance my friend hasn't got the money and said that her mum was good for it but couldn't ask her at the moment because of family stuff and what I'm asking is should I pay the rest and hope she is good for the money or cancel and swallow the loss of money and disappoint my girls or pay for flights and change names on tickets nearer the time of holiday

Our Response:
This is really only a decision you can make really. It depends how keen you are to take a holiday with your children.
YourTravelRights - 8-Jan-16 @ 2:47 PM
Need advice my friend and me and our children booked a holiday last year in May I payed my side in full it was a all inclusive holiday took out travel insurance straight away and my friend had a while to pay I have until Sunday to pay the balance my friend hasn't got the money and said that her mum was good for it but couldn't ask her at the moment because of family stuff and what I'm asking is should I pay the rest and hope she is good for the money or cancel and swallow the loss of money and disappoint my girls or pay for flights and change names on tickets nearer the time of holiday
Lola - 7-Jan-16 @ 9:13 AM
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Gordy - 2-Aug-15 @ 11:54 AM
We purchased a holiday through Thomas Cook paid in full signed etc A few hours later there was a call from Thomas Cook saying the company (sovereign) made a mistake on the discount therefor you can either pay another £1000 or a full refund will be given! We're do we stand? we want the holiday but are not willing to pay any more as it's less than 4 weeks till we go, and we signed and payed in full.
Liz - 24-Jun-15 @ 1:01 PM
@mollymoo2010. There are no 'rights' in terms of being able to pay unfortunately. There may be something in the terms and conditions but your best policy is to ask to speak to a manager at that travel agent and see if any arrangements can be made. In the event that you cannot go etc...you should check your insurance to see whether your husband's illness would be covered.
YourTravelRights - 4-Jun-15 @ 11:09 AM
Hi I was wondering if you can help?I have booked a holiday in the travel agents who are part of thomas cook, departing 22nd aug. There are 11 of us all on one booking. My husband still not back at work until next month as he had a brain injury in Jan so only my income at min. The total cost is £7545 and so far we have paid £5902. Its 91 days away so am I right in thinking that if we have payed more than 70% that they will allow an extension for us? They are being really unsympathetic about the situationand threatening to cancel and I am a little upset as we have booked with them for last three years! I can arrange a payment plan which will have the hol paid for by the end of this month which is 7 weeks before departure. What are my rights as I cant make head no tail of the booking terms and conditions.
Mollymoo2010 - 2-Jun-15 @ 9:26 AM
@Wendywoo. It's less than a month until the holiday date and the travel company would not necessarily be able to sell the holiday for its full price at such short notice. You will have been given details of the terms and conditions at the time of booking. We've checked RedSea's T&Cs and it does stately clearly that if you cancel with 22 and 49 of the travel date you will pay 70% of the total holiday cost. This is why paying for holiday insurance at or near to the time of booking is essential. If you think this is unreasonable, you could try writing to the company themselves, your bank/credit card company or the financial ombudsman but it's unlikely they will be able to do much.
YourTravelRights - 22-Apr-15 @ 2:16 PM
We have paid in full for a 2 week holiday to Egypt on 23rd may but I have been diagnosed with breast cancer and will be having my op on 30th april so will be unable to fly long distance for several months afterwards . I had not yet taken out insurance so what is the situation as redsea holidays say we can only claim 30% back.I find this disgusting as they will easily resell this popular holiday and profit from my misfortune . Any solutions for me please .
wendywoo - 20-Apr-15 @ 10:58 AM
@Bri. Your insurance company should be able to advise you on how to may a claim if the policy covers cancellation.
YourTravelRights - 7-Apr-15 @ 2:46 PM
We booked a villa in Cyprus for 2 weeks 22Apr - 06May and paid a deposit of £120. My wife is now ill and Doc says don't travel. What should I do about the £700 I was due to pay on arrival? I have travel insurance.
Bri - 4-Apr-15 @ 3:06 PM
Hi, I am hoping for some advice please. My boyfriend and I booked a ski holiday 1 month ago. He has since injured himself playing football. He is painful and will not be able to ski but the doctor is saying he is fit to travel so we will not be able to claim for the cost of travel and accomodation on the insurance, just the ski package. It just seems wrong as he is barely able to stand up straight and walk let alone ski. Just wondering if anypone has been in a similar position and what did you do?
jdvet - 20-Feb-15 @ 6:51 PM
@Annie. Get in touch with the company you booked through and see what they say...check also, the terms and conditions of the booking. Your sister's insurance might cover this as well?
YourTravelRights - 12-Jan-15 @ 10:46 AM
My sister has pulled out of our package holiday to kos in June 18th 2015 for my son's wedding, we were both booked into the same apartments as the rest of my family, will I now have to pay more money out to the holiday company for under occupancy as it will only be me in the apartment that we both booked
Annie - 8-Jan-15 @ 10:19 PM
@kate. Get in touch with the travel company and see what they are willing to do for you. They are not under any obligation to change it but may show some compassion. If you had taken travel insurance out at the time of booking and included cancellation due to illness etc, then you could have claimed a refund via the insurance.
YourTravelRights - 26-Nov-14 @ 2:08 PM
We have booked a family holiday and are due to go in 1 wk and 5 days.The problem is that my partner was diagnosed with terminal cancer 5 months ago.Due to him being terminal nobody would insure him/us.My partner has become very ill recently and 2 days ago an appintment with specialists confirmed that his condition has deteriorated and has only afew wks left to live.Is there anyway around putting a hold on our holiday without having to cancel and lose all that we have paid..
kate - 25-Nov-14 @ 11:56 PM
@Joe90. Sadly this is common practice, it's just a procedure that insurance companies have to go through.
willoughby - 7-Nov-14 @ 2:41 PM
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