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Your Advice: We Need to Cancel Our Holiday

By: Sarah Clark (ILEX) - Updated: 13 Jul 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Your Advice: We Need To Cancel Our Holiday

“My wife’s mother has been taken ill, and rushed into hospital, and understandably my wife wants to be with her. We can’t possibly go on the skiing holiday that we’ve been planning since last year, because it’s in France and if anything happened to my mother in law, we wouldn’t be able to get back home. She has no other relatives close enough to take care of her.

“I asked the travel company if we could cancel the holiday, but they say that because we are only four weeks from the date we were due to travel, we aren’t entitled to any refund at all.

“We booked the holiday through a specialist ski company, and they are refusing to budge, pointing at the clause in their contract that says we can’t cancel and get a full refund at this short notice. When I asked why, they said it was because they would have difficulty selling the holiday. Surely they, as a company, can afford to lose the money more than we can as a family?”

Advice on the Next Step

Firstly, check your booking conditions. It’s quite likely that the tour operator is within their rights to deny you a full refund, however unfair that seems, because they will have set out the terms in their brochure.

Tour operator cancellation charges are usually calculated on a sliding scale, with the cost of a late cancellation increasing as you get closer to the departure date of the holiday. Legally, by cancelling your holiday you are in breach of your contract with the trader, the tour company, and this means that they are entitled to compensation for that breach of contract just as you would be if they had done the same to you. The Office of Fair Trading actually looked at these clauses under the scope of the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999, back in 2003, and decided that in most cases, cancellation charges weren’t disproportionate.

The cancellation charge can be almost as much as the entire cost of the holiday, unfortunately. If you cancel a holiday earlier with more notice, you may only lose your deposit, which is reasonable as the holiday company will have a much better chance of reselling the holiday and therefore you’re only paying a nominal amount for their inconvenience.

What Can I Do?

There’s not much that you can do in this situation – unless you have taken out holiday insurance cover which sets out the circumstances under which you can claim.

Check your insurance policy carefully – make sure that covers you for this type of cancellation, as some of them do have exclusions. Most insurance policies will cover emergencies like illness, death in the family, or redundancy but you might have to haggle with the insurance company over the meaning of the phrase ‘close family member.’

If you knew that your mother in law was ill before you booked, you could also have problems, as most policies exclude cover for anything that you knew might happen when you booked the your holiday.

All in all, this is an unfortunate situation, but as far as the law is concerned, there isn’t much that you can do to get your money back. See here for more information on holiday cancellations .

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Hi I've booked a holiday with love holidays for march next year It's for two people and I've put a deposit down. This holiday was booked 24 hours ago but my circumstances have changed and we can no longer go. Would I still get the same amount of cancellation fees ?
Ara - 13-Jul-17 @ 11:08 PM
scouse96 - Your Question:
Had an eye operation in may booked and paid in full for a holiday same month for aug 3rd the op was to insert a gas bubble in me eye, it normally takes 3 months to clear but on the understanding from the doctor I could have a 6 week bubble inserted 15 mins before my op the surgeon told me they dont do the 6 week op on the NHS , CRISIS now with a month left to go to the holiday the gas bubble is still in my eye and got to wait till the 20th july to see if it has gone so I can fly, if theres a tiny bit left in I wont be able to fly. so with only 1 week left before the holiday can I change my ticket details to another person.

Our Response:
You need to contact the holiday company to ask whether it's transferrable at this stage. Check your travel insurance as well.
YourTravelRights - 4-Jul-17 @ 12:29 PM
had an eye operation in may booked and paid in full for a holiday same month for aug 3rd the op was to insert a gas bubble in me eye, it normally takes 3 months to clear but on the understanding from the doctor i could have a 6 week bubble inserted 15 mins before my op the surgeon told methey dont do the 6 week opon the NHS ,CRISISnow with a month left to go to the holiday the gas bubble is still in my eye and got to wait till the 20th july to see if it has gone so i can fly, if theres a tiny bit left in i wont be able to fly . so with only 1 week left before the holiday can i change my ticket details to another person.
scouse96 - 3-Jul-17 @ 3:44 PM
lindauk1 - Your Question:
I have booked holiday with on the beach due to fly to malaga on 25 july my partner had got to have operation next week and doctors said that cant fly for 6 weeks not sure what to do as havnt got insurance yet and would have to change it to next year now.

Our Response:
Contact the operator and see if they are willing to do anything for you (they're not obliged to). This is why it's important to obtain travel insurance.
YourTravelRights - 28-Jun-17 @ 12:10 PM
i have booked holiday with on the beach due to fly to malaga on 25 july my partner had got to have operation next week and doctors said that cant fly for 6 weeks not sure what to do as havnt got insurance yet and would have to change it to next year now.
lindauk1 - 26-Jun-17 @ 9:21 PM
My mum has just been diagnosed with cancer and has to start treatment straight away. We were due to fly out in three weeks and royal bank of Scotland whom we booked through days we are only entitled to get 10% back! Is there anything else we. An do?
Ali - 31-May-17 @ 8:37 PM
We spoke to Thomson who told us to email their exceptions dept which we did! Within less than hour we had a reply to say the holiday had been cancelled and the funds held till we receive the death certificate to send to them then we are free to book another holiday! This is such a relief and just want to let others know who are going through unexpected events that there are companies out there who are willing to cooperate during these times! Can't thank Thomson enough!
Andi1688 - 31-May-17 @ 8:41 AM
My mum died suddenly on Saturday 27th may and we are due to fly on the 11th June We have insurance so I could cancel but would Thomson consider rescheduling the holiday due to the circumstances! I could cope with the holiday after everything is sorted but need to be here to support my brother and dad during the arrangements etc!
Andi1688 - 30-May-17 @ 12:56 AM
We have fallen out with friends and due to go away in 4 weeks time.would they move my holiday up later In the year.
Jan - 26-May-17 @ 1:01 PM
Hi again - further to my note below: we have spoken to Thomsons this afternoon and they have been extremely accomodating and sensitive to our plight. They have agreed to defer our holiday until June 2018! I cannot commend Thomsons highly enough for this as it would've be an easy cop-out for them to have just kept our money and re-sold our holiday - thanks everyone on here for listening and a #bigthankyou to Thomsons, Steve.
Steve - 24-May-17 @ 4:45 PM
Hi - my wife and I have a holiday booked with Thomson leaving on 5th June but my mother is now terminally ill with cancer, is in pallative care and could die any day so naturally we can't go. We have spoken to Thomson customer services who were very helpful and told us to e-mail their 'exclusions' department with proof of her illness by way of a GPs letter which we sent along with a letter form her oncologist. We have holiday insurance however it only covers people that are travelling. We're not asking for a refund and we know technically we have no rights as its fully paid etc but I was wondering what the chances were that Thomsons would allow us to defer as a goodwill gesture. We're waiting for a response from them and we understand they can keep our money but we're curious as to whther anyone else has has a similar experience and what the outcome was. many thanks
Steve - 24-May-17 @ 2:02 PM
Anna - Your Question:
Hi we go away in 5 1/2 weeks myself partner 2 children, holiday paid in full, I've broken my ankle an will find out next week if I need surgery? Either way I'm gunna be potted up for 8 weeks an on crutches, could I change my holiday for a later date? Change destination? I wouldn't be able to manage on holiday with 2 younge children, it's going to be a none weight bearing pot I have put on so not able to walk with out crutches, I've not paid for holiday insurance yet, think my mum as sum through bank to cover me an kids, I'm not wanting refund just a later holiday x

Our Response:
You can try asking your holiday operator, but they will not be obliged to change the holiday for you. Holiday insurance would have enabled you to cancel and re-book.
YourTravelRights - 3-May-17 @ 10:49 AM
Hi we go away in 5 1/2 weeks myself partner 2 children, holiday paid in full, I've broken my ankle an will find out next week if I need surgery? Either way I'm gunna be potted up for 8 weeks an on crutches, could I change my holiday for a later date? Change destination? I wouldn't be able to manage on holiday with 2 younge children, it's going to be a none weight bearing pot I have put on so not able to walk with out crutches, I've not paid for holiday insurance yet, think my mum as sum through bank to cover me an kids, I'm not wanting refund just a later holiday x
Anna - 2-May-17 @ 2:30 PM
Clairelou - Your Question:
Please help need advise - due to travel in two weeks booked in January - Me and my partner for a week my partners ex has been taken into hospital and we have full custody of the child where we have no birth certificate or passport and unknown how long she may be in for , we both have insurance does anyone know what we can do I have not slept for days any help would be grateful

Our Response:
Check your insurance policy first of all. If it includes cancellation give the insurer a call and see if this situation would be covered. If not, contact your holiday company and see if they can do anything for you.
YourTravelRights - 20-Apr-17 @ 1:51 PM
Myself and my friend decided to book a holiday for a week after deposit was paid my friend went to hospital and was told she needed kidney stones removed she was admired then tranfared to hospital on the belief she was having surgery while she was in hospital I took out my own travel insurance only to find out later that my friend had such a bad infection she could not have operation if I need to cancel our holiday if she is readmitted can I claim my share of my fare as I can't go on my own or do we both loose out
maggie - 19-Apr-17 @ 1:00 AM
Please help need advise - due to travel in two weeks booked in January - Me and my partner for a week my partners ex has been taken into hospital and we have full custody of the child where we have no birth certificate or passport and unknown how long she may be in for , we both have insurance does anyone know what we can do I have not slept for days any help would be grateful
Clairelou - 18-Apr-17 @ 5:00 AM
Mk - Your Question:
I may need to cancel flight I have insurance due to illness my wife and 2kids have separate insurance policy's can I claim money back for all for off us using both policys

Our Response:
Why not ask the insurer about this?
YourTravelRights - 10-Apr-17 @ 2:34 PM
I may need to cancel flight I have insurance due to illness my wife and 2kids have separate insurancepolicy's can I claim money back for all for off us using both policys
Mk - 9-Apr-17 @ 4:50 AM
Aisha - Your Question:
Booked holiday with friends and the kids, 2 days before travel I found out I was having a suspected eptopic pregnacy and was told by hospital I couldnt fly, so I called holiday company, explained situation, my 2 friends and their kids still going but myself and my son couldnt due to what was happening. Lady said she would cancel mine and sons place and would let hotel know and would change lead passenger to my friend. I contacted travel insurance filled out paperwork, was told I needed the cancellation invoice from holiday company, when I called them they said that I hadnt cancelled the holiday!! They said they would look into whats happend and why it was never cancelled but I am getting nowhere with them. What can I do?

Our Response:
Give your insurance company a copy of the original holiday booking and your medical note saying your couldn't fly. That should be sufficient. Get in touch with the holiday company again and ask to trace the records of the call centre (most holiday companies record all calls) for proof.
YourTravelRights - 10-Mar-17 @ 12:28 PM
Booked holiday with friends and the kids, 2 days before travel i found out i was having a suspected eptopic pregnacy and was told by hospital i couldnt fly, so i called holiday company, explained situation, my 2 friends and their kids still going but myself and my son couldnt due to what was happening. Lady said she would cancel mine and sons place and would let hotel know and would change lead passenger to my friend. I contacted travel insurance filled out paperwork, was told i needed the cancellation invoice from holiday company, when i called them they said that i hadnt cancelled the holiday!! They said they would look into whats happend and why it was never cancelled but i am getting nowhere with them. What can i do?
Aisha - 9-Mar-17 @ 6:14 PM
I booked & paid for a rental cottage in Lancaster Lancashire from 1 march - 29 paid £1040.00 However on 25 February my Husband broke his ankle and he could not travel with injury being so severe. When i advised the owner that we needed to cancel he explained £200 cancellation fee, which I accepted! Expecting £840 refund. He has only offered £690 refund! Completely shocked of his actions.. We had stayed in cottage last year on 2 different occaisions. Last year. What should i do please advise
Dolly - 7-Mar-17 @ 12:19 PM
Hi there please help.... I booked a holiday to mexico for august 2017 in January for myself and then partner to both pay half each. At time of booking i paid a deposit of £100 to secure the flights. However the enviable happened and we split up and he refuses to go with me so I am left with a £2480 bill. I booked the holiday with teletext holidays (stay away from them) in january and we broke up 2 weeks after I booked and paid the £100 deposit. I have been in touch with teletex daily and I am not getting a straight answer from anyone everyone keeps fobbing me off I ring almost every day a few times a day and its now upsetting me all I want to do is cancel the whole holiday. I have tried to request a change of name to passenger flight so that someone else could come with me even this is a hard thing to do all teletext tells me is that the holiday must be paid for in full in 10 weeks time. I cant afford to pay the balance on my own, and I don’t want to travel to mexico on my own either for my 50th birthday. I spoke to someone today to be told if I cancel I have to pay £1589 asap to cancel the holiday otherwise they refuse to cancel the holiday. I cant afford £1589 just to cancel a holiday on my own I work part time.please advise what i should do now, I am at my witts end. i really can not afford the money thay are demanding from me. many thanks for taking time to read any advice greatly appreciated
Michelle - 5-Mar-17 @ 7:22 PM
Hi I'm a foster carer and I booked and paid for a holiday abroad for august but now the child is moving placement will I be able to get the money back for her on my insurance as it's out of my control and it's my job thanks
Laura - 3-Mar-17 @ 9:43 PM
Hi, I booked a holiday over the phone & then got a call from the company to say my card was declined. I was then contacted by the Fraud dpt at my bank who informed me of 6 attempts in a couple of hours to withdraw various amounts of money out of my account by this company. Naturally I was shaken by this & blocked them from withdrawing further. No money has been paid to them & they are now harassing me by telephone, even late at night & I am too scared to take their calls. Do I owe them money now?
Jericho - 2-Mar-17 @ 11:20 PM
Sami - Your Question:
Hi. what it is. my and my sister have booked an holiday for us and all our kids but thing is I still owe 1200 quid and it's got to be paid in 2 weeks. I've paid 600 off the holiday so was wondering can me and my children can be took off the holiday and have the 600 paid towards my sisters part of the holiday?

Our Response:
No it's unlikely this will be possible. You will need to contact the holiday operator and discuss what they can do.
YourTravelRights - 2-Mar-17 @ 11:34 AM
Cath - Your Question:
Hi we are supposed to go to Greece in September,it's paid in full we did this by mistake instead of paying deposit.we didn't insure it yet,my husband has just been told he has terminal cancer,would we be able to get our money back ?

Our Response:
Contact the tour operator to see what their cancellation policy is. At this stage, you might still be able to cancel flights etc for a partial refund.
YourTravelRights - 1-Mar-17 @ 10:54 AM
Hi... what it is... my and my sister have booked an holiday for us and all our kids but thing is I still owe 1200 quid and it's got to be paid in 2 weeks... I've paid 600 off the holiday so was wondering can me and my children can be took off the holiday and have the 600 paid towards my sisters part of the holiday?
Sami - 28-Feb-17 @ 5:57 PM
Hi we are supposed to go to Greece in September,it's paid in full we did this by mistake instead of paying deposit.we didn't insure it yet,my husband has just been told he has terminal cancer,would we be able to get our money back ?
Cath - 27-Feb-17 @ 8:03 AM
Maggie - Your Question:
Hi my wife and I have booked a holiday to Australia and New Zealand in may foe three months but my wife has been put on beta blockers by the hospital she has to go in for further tests to find out what is wrong can I get my money back

Our Response:
Check your holiday booking terms and conditions. Most operators give a break down in their cancellation policy. It's unlikely you'll get a full refund, but hopefully you have taken out travel insurance that covers cancellation?
YourTravelRights - 13-Feb-17 @ 2:25 PM
Hi my wife and I have booked a holiday to Australia and New Zealand in may foe three months but my wife has been put on beta blockers by the hospital she has to go in for further tests to find out what is wrong can I get my money back
Maggie - 12-Feb-17 @ 10:17 AM
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