The coronavirus outbreak has wreaked havoc on holiday plans this year, forcing many travellers to cancel their trips.
Holidaymakers whose travel plans have been affected by the outbreak have been met with delays and refusals in getting their money back, with many firms offering automatic credit notes or vouchers instead.
But customers who have booked with TUI can now apply for a cash refund for cancelled holidays.
Is TUI issuing refunds?
Thousands of frustrated customers have been unable to contact TUI’s customer service staff to claim a refund, or make amendments to their booking, if their trip has been cancelled.
Many customers have been offered vouchers or a credit note instead of a cash refund, while others were asked to keep paying for holidays that may later be cancelled, or face losing their deposit.
The airline has now apologised for not processing refunds to customers quickly enough, after being forced to cancel 900,000 of its holidays.
TUI customers who have cancelled holidays booked before 11 June can now apply for a cash refund online.
The airline has also provided the option to rebook a holiday with 20 per cent discount, or a “credit” option to book at a later date.
Customers who have holidays booked until 31 August will be able to make changes to their booking free of charge until 30 June.
This can be done by visiting the My Bookings page online.
Why are refunds taking so long?
TUI has blamed not having the right systems in place for the delays in issuing refunds to customers, along with struggling to keep up with demand due to the rapidly changing situation with regards to travel.
The airline has now issued an apology to customers over the delays.
Tui boss Andrew Flintham said: “We know we haven’t got it right; we’re doing everything we can to make things better and we’re sorry for the frustration felt by our customers.
"Taking people on incredible holidays is what we do best, but we’ve struggled to get the right systems in place to support our customers now that we can’t take them on holiday, especially at the speed of change we’ve faced in recent weeks.
“We recognise the situation around travel this summer remains unclear and there’s still a lot of uncertainty around when we will all be able to travel again, and some customers may not wish to pay a final balance with so many unknowns.
“We’d like to sincerely apologise to our customers impacted by delays to refunds and the length of time it’s taken.
"We really look forward to taking people on holiday again as soon as we’re able to."
How do I claim a refund?
If you do not want to accept a refund credit for your cancelled holiday, you can apply for a cash refund via TUI’s online request form.
TUI said customers should be aware it will be unable to process your refund request if you haven’t yet received a refund credit code.
This code will be emailed to you if your holiday has been cancelled.
Which holidays have been cancelled?
All TUI holidays booked on the following dates have sadly been cancelled:
- TUI holidays travelling on or before 11 June 2020
- TUI River Cruises sailings travelling up until and including 25 November 2020
- TUI Lakes and Mountain holidays travelling up until and including 30 September 2020
- Marella Cruises sailings on or before 30 June 2020 and all of the following:
- All sailings on Marella Celebration
- Sailings on Marella Discovery 2 up to 30 April 2021
- Sailings on Marella Dream up to 4 May 2021
- Marella Discovery sailings in December 2020 and January 2021
- Marella Explorer 2 sailings between 5 May 2021 to 20 October 2021
All other holidays are continuing to operate as planned and will be continuously reviewed.