Will the recent Small Claims Court ruling affect the cost of cancelling a holiday?

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Will the recent Small Claims Court ruling affect the cost of cancelling a holiday?

A British holidaymaker has recovered £2,200 after incurring a holiday cancellation fee for the full amount of his holiday.

TUI Travel had imposed the charge after the holiday was cancelled within two weeks of departure due to ill health. However, customer Bruce Crawcour claimed that TUI Travel had not made a significant loss on the cancelled holiday.

After receiving the cancellation fee, Mr Crawcour decided to look into what losses TUI may have made on his package holiday. He claimed the company had resold the flights within days of his cancellation. He also believed that the planned accommodation had been resold.

TUI Travel refused to accept these claims, resulting in Mr Crawcour taking the case to the Small Claims Court. He argued that TUI Travel were in breach of the Unfair Terms Consumer Contract Regulations 1999 and the Office of Fair Trading 2004 guidelines on Unfair Contract Terms in Package Holidays.

The court agreed with Mr Crawcour. It ruled that the cancellation charge in the contract was not a genuine “pre-estimate of loss”. As TUI Travel had not made a loss amounting to the full cost of Mr Crawcours holiday, they were not permitted to charge such a cancellation fee.

Although TUI Travel, which owns both Thomson and First Choice, was granted the right to appeal the ruling they decided not to. This could have been on the basis that as this case was heard in the Small Claims Court, the ruling did not set a legal precedent.

However a decision made in the High Court following an appeal may set a legal precedent on the issue. Thus explaining why TUI were reluctant to appeal.

Our experienced solicitors thoughts

“The law states that holiday companies cannot profit from a cancellation charge.

“They are entitled to charge a fee for administration and re-marketing. But if they resell the holiday, which is much easier today with the advent of the internet, then losses will not amount to the full 100%.

“In this case, the argument was that TUI Travels losses did not amount to the full 100% of the holiday cost. Therefore, it was believed that they were seeking to make a profit on the cancellation charge, which is against the law.

“I would advise anyone who receives a cancellation charge which they believe to be unfair to research online whether their holiday has been resold. They should also write to the holiday company asking them to provide the details of their losses. They are only entitled to charge a genuine pre estimate of the loss they will suffer”.

Tracy Stansfield
Expert solicitor at YourHolidayClaims

Contact Your Holiday Claims today

If you have received a holiday cancellation charge, it may be above the amount a holiday provider is entitled to impose. It is important to attempt to establish whether your holiday has been re-sold by carrying out some online research. Know your rights with help from the leading holiday illness and accident solicitors.

For more information on your rights in relation to holiday cancellation charges you can call us today on  0330 100 2851.

Or, if you cant discuss your claim over the phone right now you can complete our online enquiry form and reach us online.


Get in touch with one of our team

If you would like more information on how to make a claim for holiday illness, or would like some advice to determine if you could have a successful claim, speak to our team of professional experts who cover a wide range of legal matters, from loss of income due to holiday illness to serious injury claims. Contact us today on 0330 100 2851.

Book your call with one of our holiday claims experts
If you or any members of your family have fallen ill on holiday in the last 3 years, or been involved in an accident abroad, you may be entitled to compensation and we are here to help.

So start the process today by calling our holiday claims experts on 0330 100 2851, or simply complete the online contact form below to arrange a quick call-back. We look forward to helping you.
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Comments from our happy clients

Trevor and I would like to take this opportunity to thank you and your team who helped us in our successful claim. It is such a relief to be able to now put this behind us. Many thanks for all your hard work and for all you have done for us.
Bryonie and Trevor Price
I would like to thank Anne Thomson for all her help, understanding and patience throughout my claim.
Jacqui Taylor
Following my family becoming ill on holiday and my 2 year old daughter becoming particularly unwell, I contacted Anne at Your Holiday Claims from an internet search to see what I could do in regards to bringing this to my holiday company’s attention.
Emma Sheridan
I would like to thank Tracy Stansfield for the work she has carried out for me and assisting me in getting justice against the tour operator.
Dave Robertson
Having never thought to have contacted a solicitor to pursue a claim for compensation before, I am glad that I instructed Your Holiday Claims to deal with my claim following a holiday illness I suffered during my stay in Egypt.
Christopher Whitwell
We are very happy with the outcome of our case, especially as we were not offered anything from the tour operator we had booked our holiday with.
Dianne Cherry
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Will the recent Small Claims Court ruling affect the cost of cancelling a holiday?
Jennifer Hodges