TUI cancels beach holidays until May and Marella Cruises axed as coronavirus hits holiday plans

Tui is branded ‘disgraceful’ for not telling customers if they are entitled to refunds after travel firm cancelled ALL beach holidays until at least mid-May amid coronavirus pandemic

  • Tui cancelled all trips up to and including May 14 due to coronavirus pandemic 
  • The company have also axed its Marella Cruises until at least June this year 
  • Spokeswoman said: ‘We will  continue to adapt timings in line with global advice’
  • The Foreign Office indefinitely advised against all non-essential global travel

By Press Association Reporter

Published: | Updated:

Tui, the UK’s biggest travel firm, has been branded ‘disgraceful’ for not telling customers about entitlement to refunds after cancelling all beach holidays until mid-May. 

The company has axed all trips up to and including May 14, while its Marella Cruises sailings have been suspended until at least June due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The firm did not say that consumers would be entitled to a refund. Under EU law, travel companies must offer to refund customers within 14 days if their package holiday is cancelled.

Tui, the United Kingdom’s largest travel firm, has suspended beach holidays for five weeks

Rory Boland, editor of magazine Which? Travel, said: ‘Tui is acting disgracefully by telling customers ‘don’t call us, we’ll call you’ and then failing to provide any information about their rights to a refund for cancelled holidays, sometimes costing thousands of pounds.

‘Many of these people may desperately need their money back because they are under financial pressure due to coronavirus.

‘The travel industry is under great strain, and while we encourage holidaymakers to rebook or accept vouchers if it suits their circumstances, it should not be on consumers to prop up the UK’s biggest holiday company while they are left to suffer without their money.

‘To help end this uncertainty, the Government should confirm how it intends to support the travel industry through this outbreak while ensuring that consumers can still claim their money back and have it returned to them within a reasonable time frame.’     

Marella Cruises sailings have been axed until at least June due to the coronavirus crisis

The travel industry has warned that many firms will be unable to survive if they are forced to pay out on refunds immediately.

Trade association Abta has called for the UK Government to follow measures taken in other European countries to allow holiday companies to issue credit notes instead of cash refunds due to the deluge of claims caused by the coronavirus pandemic. 

Having announced the cancellation of beach holidays until mid-May, a TUI spokeswoman said: ‘We are constantly monitoring the situation and will start taking people on holiday again as soon as we are able to do so.

‘At this point in time, nobody can accurately predict when that will be, so for the time being we will keep a close eye on our programme and continue to amend and adapt timings in line with the latest global travel advice.’

Beaches will remain deserted in popular holiday destinations for the time being 

She added that customers with a cancelled booking ‘will be able to amend their holiday to any other Tui package holiday on sale’ via its website. 

A surge of trips to popular destinations across Europe is anticipated when lockdown restrictions are lifted but the travel industry continues to be devastated by Covid-19.

On Saturday an update from the FCO on Twitter read: ‘The Foreign Office indefinitely advises against all non-essential global travel.’ 

On Saturday, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) warned Britons against all non-essential travel abroad indefinitely

Jet2 has also been feeling enormous strain, cancelling all flights and holidays until mid-June.

They are the UK’s second biggest travel company behind TUI and have earmarked June 17 as the date to restart trips.   

A spokeswoman from Jet2 said: ‘We are keeping this decision under constant review, in line with guidance from governments and the relevant authorities.’ 

Budget airline easyJet, which also has a holiday business, has grounded flights until further notice and British Airways has told customers to keep checking its website for bookings for travel after May 31.  

Tour operator Jet2 has cancelled all flights and holidays until June 17 due to the coronavirus crisis

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