All trips up to and including June 11 will be canceled due to coronavirus, the company warning customers who want a cash refund to be patient because the telephone lines are “extremely busy”.
Before Wednesday, only travel until May 11 had been suspended.
The company’s cruise operations, Marella Cruises, were suspended until the end of June, and it postponed the launch of its new river cruise program until the end of November.
A spokesperson for the operator said nearly 900,000 people have now canceled their vacations.
Affected customers have been advised that they will get full credit for the full value of their trip, which can be used to book another holiday before the end of October 2021.
They will also receive additional credit, representing up to 20% of their reservation.
Those who “cannot accept” a refund credit can request a cash refund, but have warned that their call center staff are “incredibly busy”, so wait times are “considerably longer than usual”.
Simon Cooper, founder and managing director of rival travel agency On The Beach, said last week that failing to reimburse cash to these customers was a “bad idea” as it would likely mean companies in trouble will have to “massively raise” their prices for next year to avoid bankruptcy.
UK law stipulates that full refunds must be made within 14 days for canceled package vacations.
But which consumer group? found that none of the UK’s ten largest holiday companies or airlines had offered these refunds within the statutory deadlines, with some completely refusing to reimburse.
Many travel companies are suffering huge financial losses due to the sudden collapse in demand due to the COVID-19 epidemic.
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The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has advised against all international travel, except essential travel, since March 17.
Rory Boland, editor of Which? Travel, said Tui “must make sure he makes the reimbursement process as simple as possible.”
He added: “The travel industry is under unprecedented pressure, and the government’s lack of action on measures to help operators process refunds is unacceptable. “