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Your Advice: We Need to Cancel Our Holiday

By: Sarah Clark (ILEX) - Updated: 24 Oct 2019 | 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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Iam in hospital and was to go to Malta next week but will be in hospital for3 or 4 more weeks.What do I have to do
Jenny - 24-Oct-19 @ 12:30 PM
My husband& I have had to cancelour holidaybecausehe is ill, wouldI be ableto claimon insurancefor myself?
Annie - 11-Jul-19 @ 11:44 AM
My friend and I booked a package holiday with love holidays from Dublin to Ibiza. We are due to go in 4 weeks however my friend as been told she’s pregnant and warned not to fly and she’s not well. Where do we stand on getting a refund?
Allison - 5-Jul-19 @ 6:06 AM
Son fractured his elbow 10 weeks ago nocast or sling but metal pins ..do I have to disclose this will he be covered
Lisa - 12-Jun-19 @ 8:42 PM
I book to go away June 2019 I was dip gnoses with invasive breast cancer so I had to cancel as my treatment would extend into August the insurance company working for the tour company said they cannot give me any refund for my flights as I’m not atoll protected I did my holiday as a package holiday as I thought you were protected is this not always the case
Concerned - 26-May-19 @ 2:13 PM
Trip was paid in full, it's now two weeks to go and my wife had a stroke, is this refundeble or can it be rescheduled to later date.
Jt - 20-May-19 @ 11:09 AM
My dog has chewed my passport up I am due to travel on Tuesday to Portugal the tour operator will not let me book for a few weeks later the passport office won't give me new passport for 7 days I am willing to pay the tour operator extra but they have refused are they and passport office allowed to do this my kids are devastated
Poppy - 17-May-19 @ 6:45 PM
My dad been told he only has a couple off days to live and was meant to go on holidays tomorrow and cant possibly go will my travel insurance cover me because the company i got the holiday off say they will not refund me
Craig - 22-Apr-19 @ 8:00 PM
I booked a holiday package with love holidays, I then changed my mine and cancelled on the same day it was booked, now comes the confusing bit. Love holidays continued to take month out of my account per month I rang them and said I cancelled the holiday, they said I didn't and to cancel would cost me £500 because flights are non refundable. So I decided just to pay for the holiday because I didn't want to pay the cancellation fee Now a month before am set to fly I tried Checking in, and the flights have been cancelled, easy jet said I did cancel on that day but love holidays are saying they didn't know I cancelled because easy is an independent company and they weren't to know. They are offering me a full refund with a fee of £130 to cancel. I don't know what to do
Conjohn - 16-Apr-19 @ 5:17 PM
Four of us booked and paid for hol in June, one of party may not be able to go as had operation for breast cancer. She has asked if we could postpone as she still want as us all to go away together, where do we stand? We have insurance
Hilbo - 11-Apr-19 @ 4:01 PM
Ui we have a holiday booked abroad for one week. We have just been advised my son will be undergoing a procedure which will mean he cannot fly. He is aged 8 and this means because of the treatment lasting 6 months what are our rights with moving the dates. Thanks you
Joanne walker/Frost - 17-Mar-19 @ 5:01 PM
Hello, My two sons are booked on a school ski trip in January 2019. One of the has a precondition (epilepsy) but was accepted on the schools annualgroup insurance. Unfortunately in November he had a seizure and is now back on medication. Whilst his specialist says he is OK to travel, I understand the insurers are no longer willing to cover his illness. His brother is very close to him. With this in mind if we have to option but to cancel his trip due to a lack of cover, would we be able to claim for both sons as neither would travel without the other?
Atti - 8-Dec-18 @ 6:56 AM
I have booked with on the beach for next year 12 July 2019. I have to change the dates to August but they are saying I still have to pay the original flight and transfer costs totalling 1600 plus pay AGAIN for the new flights. We still want to stay in the same hotel. How can they take a deposit and charge us for seats on a plane we won't be using. They said They will not be able to resell the seats....its a year away! Is there anyway around This? I can't afford to pay twice they are robbing us blind :(
Jessshe81 - 10-Oct-18 @ 9:41 PM
I'm lead name...my dad is In hospital. We r all due to fly 30th Sept.. Dr have said e can't go...last payment is due Friday.. we only now been told...we r all still got g ..but not my dad room .with 3 people In..where do I stand
Aap - 12-Sep-18 @ 12:21 PM
My mum had a stroke she is quite poorly with lots of other problems too. Not sure if she will make it this week. Im due to go on holidsy on sun 18.09.18 with on the beach. Can i cancel it and move forward date. Or will i lose money. Thanks for help.
Worrier - 10-Sep-18 @ 8:31 AM
Me and my ex fiance both equally paid for our 3 weeks honeymoon but we split up, he was the named leader(no particular reason why he put as named leader just what the travel agent always did) the next thing I knew was that he had been and changed my name to his new girlfriends name!! Surely this isn't legal and I should have been informed.
Kaz - 25-Aug-18 @ 11:12 PM
Janey - Your Question:
My son booked and paid in full for a week's all inclusive holiday to Turkey dep 25/08/2018 x 7 nights x 5 pax. Booking was confirmed am on Sat 11/8. He was contacted via telephone Sat 11/8 pm to be told that the holiday had been cancelled as there was no room on the flight. I asked the agents why they had not found us alternative flights and told the increase in fares would cost an additional £1,600.00 to the cost of our holiday. The company were advertising a holiday originally for £969.00pp which is the average cost at the moment, slashed to £745.00pp, I have photo of this evidence. Any advice would be appreciated.

Our Response:
You should be given a full refund for this. Check the company's terms and conditions to find out more about flight changes.
YourTravelRights - 13-Aug-18 @ 2:07 PM
My son booked and paid in full for a week's all inclusive holiday to Turkey dep 25/08/2018 x 7 nights x 5 pax.Booking was confirmed am on Sat 11/8.He was contacted via telephone Sat 11/8 pm to be told that the holiday had been cancelled as there was no room on the flight.I asked the agents why they had not found us alternative flights and told the increase in fares would cost an additional £1,600.00 to the cost of our holiday. The company were advertising a holiday originally for £969.00pp which is the average cost at the moment, slashed to £745.00pp, I have photo of this evidence.Any advice would be appreciated.
Janey - 13-Aug-18 @ 9:00 AM
we booked a holiday at the end of august to go to Ibiza for two fully inclusive for two weeksbut I have just been informed by my hospital that I might need to have a stent fitted in my heart on the 1st of august if that is the case and they say I cant fly could I get my money back I know I would loose my deposit but would I get the £ 2200 back. please help as my wife is disabled and I have heart problems.
TC - 10-Jul-18 @ 8:04 PM
Kaz - Your Question:
I have torn both of my Achilles tendons and cannot fly. I go away in 9 weeks so want to move the dates of my holiday back a few weeks. Will there be a cost for this

Our Response:
This depends on the terms of your holiday booking if you've booked with a tour operator/holiday company. If you have booked flights only, contact the airline.
YourTravelRights - 2-Jul-18 @ 3:28 PM
I have torn both of my Achilles tendons and cannot fly. I go away in 9 weeks so want to move the dates of my holiday back a few weeks. Will there be a cost for this
Kaz - 29-Jun-18 @ 1:22 PM
Scopey - Your Question:
I have been told today that I have got shingles and are unable to fly tommorrow because I am contagious. I have spoke to the tour operator and tried to change the dates but have been told because it is less than 48 hours till I depart I lose everything is this right?

Our Response:
Yes it might be, it depends on the terms and conditions of your booking. Contact your travel insurance company - as long as you have cancellation as part of your policy, you should get something back.
YourTravelRights - 13-Jun-18 @ 10:55 AM
I have been told today that I have got shingles and are unable to fly tommorrow because I am contagious. I have spoke to the tour operator and tried to change the dates but have been told because it is less than 48 hours till i depart i lose everything is this right?
Scopey - 9-Jun-18 @ 2:07 PM
I booked a holiday via on the beach which included flights and hotel.On the beach advised the hotel had changed their description and that building/demolition works across the road from hotel were now extended from 31/03/2018 to 31/10/2018.Due to this I asked my options.No compensation etc was offered however onthebeach advised that the hotel supplier has confirmed we can cancel the hotel reservation free of charge.This was communicated to me in writing and phone call on 13th April.I responded that I wanted to cancel and also called to confirm this.Onthebeach advised that they did not cancel until the following day 14th April and due to this the supplier is now having issues claiming refund from hotel and basically I may not get my hotel refunded free of charge.As they advised I could cancel I have now booked and paid for alternative accommodation with another provider.
Kate - 18-Apr-18 @ 10:53 AM
Dush - Your Question:
Hi we’ve booked and paid for a family holiday to Majorca at the end of may didn’t take insurance out with the holiday company when booking. My daughter has been taken seriously ill and is currently in the intensive care unit we’re not to sure how long she will be in there for and if she would be well enough to fly if she’s out in time. Just wondering if we was to cancel the holiday would we get any money back?

Our Response:
You will need to check the terms and conditions of the holiday booking with your holiday company to find out about their cancellaiton policy.
YourTravelRights - 4-Apr-18 @ 11:54 AM
Hi we’ve booked and paid for a family holiday to Majorca at the end of may didn’t take insurance out with the holiday company when booking. My daughter has been taken seriously ill and is currently in the intensive care unit we’re not to sure how long she will be in there for and if she would be well enough to fly if she’s out in time. Just wondering if we was to cancel the holiday would we get any money back?
Dush - 1-Apr-18 @ 6:19 PM
I booked a P&O cruise and took out annual travel insurance with Coverwise, which covered cruises. we are due to travel in 4 weeks time, and today doctor phoned to say a routine scan has revealed my mum has terminal illness, and immediately put on end of life pallative care. I will have to organise funeral arrangements. My father passed away many years ago. I therefore will be unable to travel on holiday in 4 weeks, my cruise company have advised that they will charge 75% cancellation fee of our holiday, which is over £6,000. My insurance cover is a bit confusing, but looks like I will only get maximum £2,000 on any claim. What can I do? I would have been interested on even transferring our holiday to another date, but doesn't look like I can. Is there anything I can approach them with to change to another date or have a credit note so I can book another cruise when I am finished bereavement ? thanks
CAR5565 - 11-Jan-18 @ 9:56 PM
Boo - Your Question:
I booked a family holiday with my sister, bro in law and my mother.My sister was taken ill and had an operation therefore we had to cancel our Cruise holiday.My sister received the refund for her and my brother in law.I went through my insurers as paid for myself and my mother.My insurance company now only want to reimburse for me and not my 77 year old Mother. They are saying she should claim under her policy, but we had not yet taken out a policy for her, and I paid the full amount anyway as It was my treat for my mother.Please advise,kind regardsDianne

Our Response:
If your mother wasn't named on your insurance policy, there's not much you can do about this unfortunately. Did you name her as one of the joint policy holders before travelling?
YourTravelRights - 9-Jan-18 @ 2:02 PM
I booked a family holiday with my sister, bro in law and my mother. My sister was taken ill and had an operation therefore we had to cancel our Cruise holiday. My sister received the refund for her and my brother in law. I went through my insurers as paid for myself and my mother. My insurance company now only want to reimburse for me and not my 77 year old Mother. They are saying she should claim under her policy, but we had not yet taken out a policy for her, and i paid the full amount anyway as It was my treat for my mother. Please advise, kind regards Dianne
Boo - 9-Jan-18 @ 9:26 AM
Rams - Your Question:
Hi my son and wife have booked and paid for their holiday in June next year they have just received news that my daughters laws mum as just been diagnosed with cancer and terminal they haven't got there holiday insurance as they have forgotten todo it how do they go on about getting insurance they haven't said how long she as got its months rather than years how do they go about insurance

Our Response:
They may need to talk to insurers directly via phone or to use a broker as not many policies cover the sickness of a relative who's not part of the holiday.
YourTravelRights - 21-Nov-17 @ 3:46 PM
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