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Your Advice: We Need to Cancel Our Holiday

By: Sarah Clark (ILEX) - Updated: 12 Feb 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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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
We booked a holiday with on the beach in Jan 2017 for 3adults and one child going in July l have cancelled due to marriage breakdown but my wife and daughter and grandson are still goingyet On the beach say we still have to pay the full amount whether I go or not we have paid £240 depcan do anything about this as now I can't afford my share as I have moved out of the marital home and into a flat
Wills - 10-Feb-17 @ 9:05 PM
Hi there please help.... I booked a holiday to malaysia and Bali in august 2016 for myself and then partnerto both pay half each. At time of booking i paid a deposit of £761 to secure the flights. However the envitable happened and we split up and he didnt pay the balance of holiday being 640. For the past month I have been in contact with the travel agent to requset a change of passenger details but they are refusing to allow and want me to pay 750 for another flight.I explained that im not able to travel half way around the world on my own due to being a nervous passenger thatcould suffer anxiety and panic attacks!Still said not able to transfer or passenger change. i advised that I couldnt possibly afford a further £750 for new flight plus the balance of £640 plus the 761£ id already paid. They stated that they could not resell the ticket to me at a loss??!!how would it be at a loss when id already paid. i contacted the airline direct who said it shouldnt be a problem. Again I wrote to the travel company explaining this still no joy i also mentioned that in their terms and conditions they would do their utmost to accomadate changes to a booking but they just sed No. Well now they are chasing me for the balance of the holiday been a week. I wrote to them again explaining that as they will not change passenger details at reasonable cost and that I really cannot travel alone that distance due to onset of anxiety and panic attacks then i would have no option but to cancel the holiday (i still have about 7weeks before i actually travel) expecting to lose my deposit of £761 but they not bothered and are now asking for further payment of £240 .i advised that i could not afford this further payment. And to insult me further they repeatedly keep sending me emails advertising the exact same holiday special offeravailable every month until November 2017.All they wrote back is as per t&cs the vwry very small print.having to pay this extra amount brings the cost to thousand pound. £1000 for a holiday im not going in. I dont think it unreasonable to dispute these charges considering the amount of notice i gave to cancel and the fact that this holiday is available throught out the whole yr. Please please advise what i should do now. i really can not afford a further £240. many thanks for taking time to read any advice greatly appreciated
Mustang - 9-Feb-17 @ 11:32 PM
Hi there please help.... I booked a holiday to malaysia and Bali in august 2016 for myself and then partnerto both pay half each. At time of booking i paid a deposit of £761 to secure the flights. However the envitable happened and we split up and he didnt pay the balance of holiday being 640. For the past month I have been in contact with the travel agent to requset a change of passenger details but they are refusing to allow and want me to pay 750 for another flight.I explained that im not able to travel half way around the world on my own due to being a nervous passenger thatcould suffer anxiety and panic attacks!Still said not able to transfer or passenger change. i advised that I couldnt possibly afford a further £750 for new flight plus the balance of £640 plus the 761£ id already paid. They stated that they could not resell the ticket to me at a loss??!!how would it be at a loss when id already paid. i contacted the airline direct who said it shouldnt be a problem. Again I wrote to the travel company explaining this still no joy i also mentioned that in their terms and conditions they would do their utmost to accomadate changes to a booking but they just sed No. Well now they are chasing me for the balance of the holiday been a week. I wrote to them again explaining that as they will not change passenger details at reasonable cost and that I really cannot travel alone that distance due to onset of anxiety and panic attacks then i would have no option but to cancel the holiday (i still have about 7weeks before i actually travel) expecting to lose my deposit of £761 but they not bothered and are now asking for further payment of £240 .i advised that i could not afford this further payment. And to insult me further they repeatedly keep sending me emails advertising the exact same holiday special offeravailable every month until November 2017.All they wrote back is as per t&cs the vwry very small print.having to pay this extra amount brings the cost to thousand pound. £1000 for a holiday im not going in. I dont think it unreasonable to dispute these charges considering the amount of notice i gave to cancel and the fact that this holiday is available throught out the whole yr. Please please advise what i should do now. i really can not afford a further £240. many thanks for taking time to read any advice greatly appreciated
Mustang - 9-Feb-17 @ 11:28 PM
carlos - Your Question:
Hi I booked a cruise for may 2017,but sadly my girlfriend has died and therefore I couldn't go on this cruise with vision cruise I paid £518.00 deposit and they told me I can cancel but I will lose this deposit,but the annoying thing is that all the money doesn't have to be paid until the 10/05/17 so surely because I haven't reached the date yet,surely they could meet me half way and say because of the circumstances they could give me half the deposit back,i would be gratefull to hear back from you.

Our Response:
We are sorry to hear about the death of your girlfriend. Check the terms and conditions of their booking policy to see if there is any futher information about cancellation that might cover this eventuality. It is quite common to lose one's deposit when cancelling. Have you tried writing to them with details of your circumstances and asking if they will make an exception? Will your travel insurer cover this?
YourTravelRights - 6-Jan-17 @ 11:44 AM
hi I booked a cruise for may 2017,but sadly my girlfriend has died and therefore I couldn't go on this cruise with vision cruise I paid £518.00 deposit and they told me I can cancel but I will lose this deposit,but the annoying thing is that all the money doesn't have to be paid until the 10/05/17 so surely because I haven't reached the date yet,surely they could meet me half way and say because of the circumstances they could give me half the deposit back,i would be gratefull to hear back from you.
carlos - 5-Jan-17 @ 12:49 PM
Happy New Year, Please do your have any clue? The company which will go on a trip is sold to another I do not want to travel with her can I ask for return of the deposit?
Bs_Bs - 5-Jan-17 @ 6:55 AM
Booked a holiday on line through voyage Privé which offer exclusive timebound deals. Paid over £800 deposit for 2 weeks in Zanzibar April 2017.The website is very detailed including info of average temperature each month.They have omitted to detail that their are "seasons" on Zanzibar so seeing temperatures of 30 and 32 degrees each month we thought this intimated sunshine.Since booking I have been told it is rainy season, torrentially so.I asked if I can move my travel dates and it has taken a week of stress to get a decision and now been told it would cost £1335 on top of the deposit and remaining cost of £1900 to pay which is extortionate. They claim they don't notify of the seasons on the site as they can change although trends do not seem to be the case.Also temperature is subject to change yet this is provided.They claim the holiday is dearer to go in June yet they offer a similar holiday now on a timebound deal which shows prices to be cheaper in early June than Apriil.I recall this to be the case when I booked too.They said I can cancel losing £400 of my deposit and that offer is subject to change. The customer service is appalling.Can you please advise or help?
Miesha - 10-Dec-16 @ 8:50 AM
.. - Your Question:
We have to cancel our holiday as we cant go due to my patner having to go to collage as part of his job, my last payment is next month 01.0.2017 would I just lose my deposit or the whole amount holiday costs £1890, im so stuck on what to do and its my first time booking a holiday!

Our Response:
You will need to check the cancellation conditions in your booking contract. Most holiday companies will also display these on their websites.
YourTravelRights - 7-Dec-16 @ 11:39 AM
We have to cancel our holiday as we cant go due to my patner having to go to collage as part of his job, my last payment is next month 01.0.2017 would i just lose my deposit or the whole amount holiday costs £1890, im so stuck on what to do and its my first time booking a holiday!
.. - 6-Dec-16 @ 10:56 AM
In July 2016 We booked a cruise going to the Caribbean and The Amazonon 1/2/2017 through a travel agent It is all fully paid for. We havereceived (11th Nov )a notification from the cruise companyadvising us of strongly recommended inoculations . We have been to our Drsto discuss this and one of the jabs is Yellow fever . We have been told to think very carefully about this as there can be potential serious risks from this injection for the over 60s .We are 65 and 72 . In view of this situation we wish to cancel the holiday. Please do you have any comments on the situation Thank You
Mamie - 24-Nov-16 @ 3:47 PM
Apache- Your Question:
Due to go to cancun in 7 days, myself my partner and our 14 year old son. My partners older son is in hospital in a coma as of this morning. Our holiday is £4500 all paid for, obviously we now can't go, what are our rights of cancellation?

Our Response:
Check your insurance policy to see whether this kind of cancellation is covered. Your holiday company's terms and conditions will tell you how much you might be entitled to/or lose for cancellation at this stage.
YourTravelRights - 8-Nov-16 @ 12:44 PM
Jojo - Your Question:
Need to cancel holidydue to work commitments Do I have to pay the rest of the deposit?

Our Response:
This depends on the terms and conditions of your holiday booking.
YourTravelRights - 7-Nov-16 @ 1:58 PM
Due to go to cancun in 7 days, myself my partner and our 14 year old son. My partners older son is in hospital in a coma as of this morning... Our holiday is £4500 all paid for, obviously we now can't go, what are our rights of cancellation?
Apache - 6-Nov-16 @ 11:23 PM
Need to cancel holidydue to work commitments Do I have to pay the rest of the deposit?
Jojo - 5-Nov-16 @ 9:19 PM
daisy - Your Question:
My daughter has booked holiday for her and her son ,,she will be going end may 2017,,she just found out she has cancer an has to have chemo for 6 mths which means she may not be able to go ,,she went to travel agents an they told her she will loose her £400 DEP but she is has insurance through the travel agent

Our Response:
Tell her to check the actual insurance policy to reclaim this. Was she given full details of the insurance policy when the travel agent sold it to her? If it doesn't cover cancellation due to illness was she aware of this when she purchased it?
YourTravelRights - 4-Nov-16 @ 2:10 PM
my daughter has booked holiday for her and her son ,,she will be going end may 2017,,she just found out she has cancer an has to have chemo for 6 mths which means she may not be able to go ,,she went to travel agents an they told her she will loose her £400 DEPbut she is has insurance through the travel agent
daisy - 3-Nov-16 @ 8:39 PM
Barnesy - Your Question:
My 2 year old daughter who was due to travel with us was taken into hospital as a medical emergency the day before we were due to fly to Ibiza! I started the claim with the insurance company as soon as possible and have the relevant documents to forward on! People have said that we won't get the full amount of our holiday back, this is worrying me, can this be true?

Our Response:
This will depend on the terms of your insurance. Dig out the policy and check the details.
YourTravelRights - 19-Oct-16 @ 12:48 PM
My 2 year old daughter who was due to travel with us was taken into hospital as a medical emergency the day before we were due to fly to Ibiza! I started the claim with the insurance company as soon as possible and have the relevant documents to forward on! People have said that we won't get the full amount of our holiday back, this is worrying me, can this be true?
Barnesy - 18-Oct-16 @ 9:03 AM
Wrong Diagnosis - Your Question:
Hello - my MIL was given an imminent terminal prognosis the week before we were due to go holiday. We cancelled the holiday. During the following week, the Dr changed their diagnosis, and started new treatment, and she is now recovering.How would this impact our travel insurance claim for cancellation due to family member illness?

Our Response:
Get a letter from your MIL's consultant, that should be sufficient evidence for your cancellation. Check the terms of your policy to make sure family illness is covered though.
YourTravelRights - 12-Oct-16 @ 1:41 PM
Hello - my MIL was given an imminent terminal prognosis the week before we were due to go holiday.We cancelled the holiday. During the following week, the Dr changed their diagnosis, and started new treatment, and she is now recovering. How would this impact our travel insurance claim for cancellation due to family member illness?
Wrong Diagnosis - 11-Oct-16 @ 2:58 PM
Going to cancun money been stolen from safes in hotel rooms seen on trip advisor asked Thomas cook about it they know nothing about it just said use a code that nobody will know
Stocky66 - 9-Oct-16 @ 5:52 PM
I am just back from Zante. I fell against a fence which wasnt securer and broke my wrist. I thought i had insurance and the hospital checked this and said i did and would only have to pay excess. I paid this and now i am home they have contacter me to say i am only insured in the UK. I must have made an error when applying for Insurance. Where do i stand as the hospital also checked this and now they want £800, which i dont have in one payment? Thank you
Michelle - 27-Sep-16 @ 2:31 PM
kez - Your Question:
My friend and I booked a holiday my friend cannot fly instructed by health proffesional. Will I also get a refund we was suppose to go next week

Our Response:
It's unlikely that you or your friend will get a full refund due to illness. You should check the booking confirmation terms and conditions referring to cancellation. Your travel insurance may cover it depending on the level of insurance your took out.
YourTravelRights - 26-Sep-16 @ 10:18 AM
My friend and i booked a holiday my friend cannot fly instructed by health proffesional. Will i also get a refund we was suppose to go next week
kez - 24-Sep-16 @ 8:02 AM
Its my husband and my Golden Wedding Anni in Sept we booked a holiday in Rome and Florence booking it all ourselves, because of all the aftershocks in Rome l am too scared to go now.we paid everything by credit card!and wondered if we might get our money back.?ltaly at mo is unstable and lve waited 50 years for this holiday.I am far too frightened to go now...please help?Regards S Lloyd.
N/A - 29-Aug-16 @ 9:52 PM
Gillmo - Your Question:
We are booked to go to Turkey in Sept, on our first family holiday abroad, due to the recent events we are extremely nervous about going on, we have booked with jet2 holiday is paid in full, would we be able to change our destination due to the terrorist threat?

Our Response:
Please see the response to Ferrero below.
YourTravelRights - 19-Jul-16 @ 10:54 AM
I booked package holiday in Turkey and I wanted to cancelled because what's going on in Turkey in 15/07/16. Me and my boyfriend wanted to get full refund because it is not safe anymore. And I as a Turkish citizen can not go and have fun in Turkey as my country facing with this serious problems. My holidays is also Atol proctected. Hopefully we will get full refund. We have been trying to save so hard to do this. It would be seriously unfair that you pay almost and over £1000 for holiday and won't be able to get it back... Average working people is working so hard to save and do some rest but because of some serious problems that you having to stop you going doing your holiday is costing you money too.. I can not stand for this and can not watch my hard saving money burns. I wish we will be able get full refund.. Because I am not excusing anything it is a life treating situation over the country we want to go...
Leyla - 19-Jul-16 @ 10:17 AM
Ferrero - Your Question:
My husband and I are due to fly to turkey, olu deniz on 3/9/16. Now with all the unrest in turkey are we able to get a refund as im sure things could well get a lot worse. I havent sorted travel insurance yet as I normally do it a month before we travel. The holiday is booked and paid for in full with jet2holidays.

Our Response:
The foreign officer has not yet advised against travel to the tourist destinations. You should check your holiday company's position on this and see whether they are willing to refund or exchange, but note, they are under no obligation to do so.
YourTravelRights - 18-Jul-16 @ 10:44 AM
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