A British holidaymaker has recovered Â£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 âpre-estimate of lossâ. As TUI Travel had not made a loss amounting to the full cost of Mr Crawcourâs 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 solicitorsâ thoughts
âThe law states that holiday companies cannot profit from a cancellation charge.
âThey 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%.
âIn this case, the argument was that TUI Travelâs 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.
âI 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 sufferâ.
Expert solicitor at YourHolidayClaims
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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.
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