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Should I Pay the Full Amount on a Cancelled Holiday?

By: Sarah Clark (ILEX) - Updated: 29 Aug 2018 | 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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We booked a cottage holiday mid July for the end of Oct. We paid a 25% deposit to confirm the booking. The balance is payable 6 weeks before the arrival date. One of our party has become ill and we are unable to travel. The terms state that on cancellation they will try and re-let the cottage however should they not be able to we’ll lose all monies already paid and any outstanding balances will still be payable on the due date. Does that mean we would have to pay for the holiday in full if they can not re-let? Or does that only become applicable should we cancel after 6 weeks before arrival? If it’s the former then we were liable for the full cost of the holiday as soon as booked, and the word deposit is misleading. It’s more a stage or down payment. A deposit is generally the indication of the sum you lose should you cancel before a certain date? Thanks in advance.
Chris - 29-Aug-18 @ 8:07 PM
reddevil - Your Question:
I have just been diagnosed with cancer and have been told I cannot travel due to chemotherapy starting when we were due to travel in September. Travel agents have refunded me half the cost but I have been told if I produce a letter from my specialist I can claim the full amount, is this true.

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.
YourTravelRights - 30-Jul-18 @ 3:39 PM
I have just been diagnosed with cancer and have been told i cannot travel due to chemotherapy starting when we were due to travel in September. Travel agents have refunded me half the cost but i have been told if i produce a letter from my specialist i can claim the full amount, is this true.
reddevil - 27-Jul-18 @ 3:26 PM
Rosie - Your Question:
My husband just been told he has cancer and we can't go to New York and lasvegas we have booked with barrhead travel they want £2oop each to change it to next year and more money to book hotels again and are wanting a date next year my husband is going in for surgery asap my sister was going to take the holiday but they say you can only change one person

Our Response:
Does your travel insurance not cover this?
YourTravelRights - 1-May-18 @ 2:50 PM
My husband just been told he has cancer and we can't go to New York and lasvegas we have booked with barrhead travel they want £2oop each to change it to next year and more money to book hotels again and are wanting a date next yearmy husband is going in for surgery asap my sister was going to take the holiday but they say you can only changeone person
Rosie - 30-Apr-18 @ 8:25 PM
I’m asking your advice really, will keep it short, 12 people booked 3wks in Florida cost of £15k split equally is £1330 each, one person has paid £300 and now doesn’t want to come after leaving the rest so late to pay so the £1000 oweing still needs to be paid as it’s too close to going to cancel, we’ve tried finding someone else but nobody has got the money to come, as it’s a group booking the travel company won’t help just say it must b shared by whoever is left, how can we get this person to pay? Small claims court? Or threatening letter? Do we have a leg to stand on? Any advice is welcome as why should we all have to pay more coz he doesn’t want to come anymore
Embth - 29-Mar-18 @ 11:28 PM
Shall2829 - Your Question:
I booked a cottage in Isle of Man in June and have had to cancel, I paid a £25 deposit and the travel company have said we will have to pay a cancellation charge of £490 do I have to pay this as surely they can sell it on and I already paid a deposit and have no paperwork?

Our Response:
What do the terms and conditions of the booking say (these will be on the website if that's how you booked).
YourTravelRights - 19-Mar-18 @ 12:39 PM
I booked a cottage in Isle of Man in June and have had to cancel, I paid a £25 deposit and the travel company have said we will have to pay a cancellation charge of £490 do I have to pay this as surely they can sell it on and I already paid a deposit and have no paperwork?
Shall2829 - 16-Mar-18 @ 2:37 PM
My son and girlfriend need to cancel a trip to new York on 23rd December due to my son having to have emergency foot surgery in a few days. His consultant has advised he can not fly for six months following the surgery. British airways and the hotel are refusing any form of refund despite having all of the medical evidence needed. Both are saying it is non refundable. Can they legally do this. They did not purchase travel insurance .
Debs - 23-Oct-17 @ 6:51 PM
Ja - Your Question:
I owe 234 pounds the last payment on a 2000 pound holiday. I was refused an extension. Thomas cook have cancelled my holiday on 21 st sept for a holiday on 28th Nov. I have the final payment now 26th sept but it's to late to pay As already been cancelled

Our Response:
Unfortunately for you, Thomas Cook make the terms and conditions for payment deadlines quite clear:
" You must pay the balance of your holiday by the due date, or it may be cancelled.
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. "
YourTravelRights - 29-Sep-17 @ 2:18 PM
Viv - Your Question:
We booked a holiday to Paris for the 21st of September till the 24th of September. Due to finances we were unable to attend and I cancelled well in advance by calling the hotel desk, around June/July time, and on their cancellation policy on my email, it says Free Cancellation up to 24 hours prior to arrival date. However I have been charged on my credit card for 1 night's stay around 178Euros because according to the hotel staff, I was ONLY allowed to cancel via website or email. Neither in my email confirmation or their website does it specify on how someone should cancel, yet on the phone call to the woman, she said it had been cancelled and no further action was required. When I emailed to explain this to them, the hotel staff not only claim there was no woman working on that day of my call, but they also claim the call never even took place! I have proof from my phone provide that the call took place at the exact time and date and duration. Yet they refuse to refund. What can I do about this?

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
I owe 234 pounds the last payment on a 2000 pound holiday. I was refused an extension. Thomas cook have cancelled my holiday on 21 st sept for a holiday on 28th Nov. I have the final payment now 26th sept but it's to late to pay As already been cancelled
Ja - 27-Sep-17 @ 10:05 PM
We booked a holiday to Paris for the 21st of September till the 24th of September. Due to finances we were unable to attend and I cancelled well in advance by calling the hotel desk, around June/July time, and on their cancellation policy on my email, it says Free Cancellation up to 24 hours prior to arrival date. However I have been charged on my credit card for 1 night's stay around 178Euros because according to the hotel staff, I was ONLY allowed to cancel via website or email. Neither in my email confirmation or their website does it specify on how someone should cancel, yet on the phone call to the woman, she said it had been cancelled and no further action was required. When I emailed to explain this to them, the hotel staff not only claim there was no woman working on that day of my call, but they also claim the call never even took place! I have proof from my phone provide that the call took place at the exact time and date and duration. Yet they refuse to refund. What can I do about this?
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
After many years of booking with Thomson, I thought I'd try Thomas Cook. We've only paid a deposit and the booking clearly states that we have suites with a separate living area and bedroom. Since booking the hotel has gone bankrupt and had to be bought out and refurbished and the room we originally booked no longer exists and they don't have any rooms that we had originally booked. Also my inbound flight has had the airline changed even though I've booked meals and pre booked seats- what are my rights?
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
I have booked a cottage for 10 people, we rec'vd an e-mail asking for £1,400.00 to book and secure the accommodation. We have paid 1K last week but now one family going are saying they can't afford it so are backing out. The accommodation in total is 4K and we are told that if the cottage doesn't rent out we will be liable for the 4K, whilst I understand this is their terms and conditionsbecause we didn't pay the full deposit are we still liable for the 4K?? Thank you.
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
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???
m4rk - 7-Apr-16 @ 1:37 AM
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