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Should I Pay the Full Amount on a Cancelled Holiday?

By: Sarah Clark (ILEX) - Updated: 18 Oct 2019 | 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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Our Response:
If that is the travel agent's policy then it might be, but we don't know your agent or holiday operator or whether they are connected to your insurer.
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Does your travel insurance not cover this?
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Our Response:
What do the terms and conditions of the booking say (these will be on the website if that's how you booked).
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Our Response:
Unfortunately for you, Thomas Cook make the terms and conditions for payment deadlines quite clear:
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You will be required to pay a deposit or make full payment for your booking at the time of booking.
Where you only pay a deposit you must pay the full balance by the balance due date notified to you.
If full payment is not received by the balance due date, your booking may be cancelledand cancellation fees set out in the Booking Conditions of the organiser of your travel arrangements may be payable by you. "
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Our Response:
Here is some information about how to resolve a dispute relating to your consumer rights in an EU country EU formal action for consumers
YourTravelRights - 29-Sep-17 @ 11:47 AM
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Viv - 27-Sep-17 @ 2:53 PM
Mel - Your Question:
We booked holiday accommodation through a service and 9 weeks prior we have been advised that due to works being carried out the property is now unavailable. Due to the short notice we are unable to find any other accommodation on the island. The only place that is available is an extra $4000 for the week. We are all unable to change our holidays with work and either have to pay for the new accommodation or cancel our once a year holiday. Advice please?

Our Response:
Unfortunately you may have to cancel (you should receive a full refund) or ask the holiday company to pay the extra. If they holiday company will not pay, then you could either pay it and try to claim compensation or perhaps negotiate a holiday elsewhere?
YourTravelRights - 6-Sep-17 @ 2:37 PM
We booked holiday accommodation through a service and 9 weeks prior we have been advised that due to works being carried out the property is now unavailable. Due to the short notice we are unable to find any other accommodation on the island. The only place that is available is an extra $4000 for the week. We are all unable to change our holidays with work and either have to pay for the new accommodation or cancel our once a year holiday. Advice please?
Mel - 5-Sep-17 @ 1:55 AM
Worried - Your Question:
Last year a friend and myself booked a holiday through Thomas cook to India. The company is Mercury. We paid a deposit and I have held getting insurance due to being newly diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. I am very I'll at the moment and don't think I'll be able to go. Will I be liable for balance of holiday which is due 9th August?Thanks

Our Response:
Yes of course you will. That's really why you should take out insurance at the time of booking! Contact the holiday company - they sometimes have a sliding scale of what you must pay if you cancel at a given stage before the holiday commencement date.
YourTravelRights - 30-Jun-17 @ 12:34 PM
Last year a friend and myself booked a holiday through Thomas cook to India. The company is Mercury. We paid a deposit and I have held getting insurance due to being newly diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis.I am very I'll at the moment and don't think I'll be able to go. Will I be liable for balance of holiday which is due 9th August? Thanks
Worried - 29-Jun-17 @ 4:08 PM
We booked a holiday and paid 500 Deposit we do want to go on this holiday now as no longer suitable For our family, we are happy to loose The deposit but we don't wish to be pursued for more Payment.There TC's state we have to pay it all and it's due tomorrow.
Leelee - 21-May-17 @ 8:20 PM
Aud - Your Question:
Hi I have booked 8 flights to Cyprus for may this 2017 costing me 1,500 I need to cancel due to unforeseen circumstances. Will I be able to get money back !

Our Response:
Check the returns policy with the airline first of all...they will be able to tell you whether there's any chance of a partial or full refund at this stage. You might need to check the terms of your travel insurance too, if you selected cancellation, you might be covered. Cancellation, is usually subject to certain conditions however.
YourTravelRights - 20-Mar-17 @ 2:21 PM
Hi I have booked 8 flights to Cyprus for may this 2017costing me 1,500I need to cancel due to unforeseen circumstances . Will I be able to get money back !
Aud - 17-Mar-17 @ 10:28 PM
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