TUI holidays and flights had been booked by countless Britons looking forward to jetting off on a well-earned break. However, holiday dreams have been shattered as the coronavirus saw international travel come to a standstill. Many Britons are now struggling to get a TUI refund – and Martin Lewis, 47, has shared his words of wisdom.
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TUI is currently offering customers refund credit if their holiday cannot go ahead due to the coronavirus crisis.
The holiday company explains on its website; If your holiday can no longer go ahead as planned, you’ll receive a refund credit for the full value of your holiday, and we’ll give you a separate booking incentive up to 20 percent.”
Cash refunds are available – but only if you ring TUI after your refund credit has been received.
Many frustrated holidaymakers have turned to Lewis, the Money Saving Expert on what to do. This is his travel advice.
Speaking on The Emma Barnett Show on BBC Radio 5, Lewis said: “TUI’s policy is you’re being offered a voucher for your holiday but you can get a refund and legally you are entitled to a refund but you need to call them up to get a refund.
“It’s a subtle bit of behavioural economics pushing people to take the voucher and make them jump through hoops to get an actual cash refund.
“If you call them up you will get the refund. But guess what the problem is with calling them up?
“Like every other firm right now, you can’t get through.”
He added: “So, this is an administrative and institutional blocker some firms, especially travel firms, are using right now.
“Which is why you are given automatic entitlement to a voucher, making you jump through hoops and call them to get cash refunds.
“But you’re going to be on hold for hours and hours to get a cash refund.
“Unfortunately, there’s a lacuna of enforcement right now.
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“There’s a big debate in the travel industry over whether the government should extend the rules to make sure people can get cash refunds or whether they should just be able to give vouchers, otherwise the travel industry is going to kaput.
“My advice would be to question if I would be willing to take the voucher and am I protected if the firm went bust.”
TUI’s advice for obtaining a cash refund is explained on their website.
The travel agency company explains: “If you’re unable to accept a refund credit you can apply for a refund; however, we’re only able to process a refund for you once you have received your refund credit.
“You will need to contact our dedicated team using the details below, please be aware that our call centre teams are incredibly busy, so call waiting times are considerably longer than usual.
“And, please don’t call if you haven’t received your refund credit yet as our teams won’t be able to process your refund.
“You can call 0203 451 2868 between 9am and 7pm from Monday to Friday.”
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