Thousands of people whose summer vacations were canceled this year are still awaiting their repayment or have been offered credit repayment notes that could even be worthless if the business goes bankrupt.
And for those who have yet to pay their final installments, it may seem counterintuitive to hand over money when official advice bans travel.
But for those who have to travel in July and August, many vacation companies still ask for the final payment.
Currently, the Foreign Office says that no non-essential travel can take place.
In an interview with This Morning, travel expert Simon Calder said deposits owed on vacation packages should always be paid, if possible.
He said: “It’s a really, really tough time.
“What is happening now is that all travel balance payment requests in July and August are all coming in.
“So people are told you paid a few hundred pounds and you have to pay us a lot more hundred pounds, maybe even thousands of pounds for the rest of your travels, and they don’t know what to do with it. . .
“Now, assuming you still want to go on vacation, and that’s a big if, especially for people who are in risk groups, then if you can possibly afford to pay the balance, then if please do it.
“Because that way you will get your vacation the way you booked which will be nice, or you will get all your money back if it gets canceled because of government advice no matter what at that time.”
“And so this is the best insurance policy, it seems a little counterintuitive to keep paying money so you can get your money back, but I’m afraid that’s how the rules work.”
“And if you just decide not to pay the rest, then first of all you will lose your deposit and the travel company may sue you for more money, especially if you took advantage of the low deposit. vacation scheme. “
Asked by Holly Willoughby what people should do if they need the installment payment for other purposes, Mr Calder said it was a “horrible situation”.
He said: “My heart is for the thousands of people who think exactly so because their situation has completely changed since they booked.
“They did the right thing, booking high season vacations well in advance and now they find it is all beyond them financially.
“Keep paying if you can because that way if it’s canceled you’ll get a full refund, even if the vacation business collapses you’ll get it back from the ATOL program.”
“If you have booked a real vacation package, to a Mediterranean destination, there is a good chance that you can transfer the trip elsewhere and this is also worth considering.
“I’m sorry to say that a lot of people who have been in contact with me weren’t informed that this was a possibility, but for many it would be a good solution.”
Currently, TUI says the vacation booked with them after June 12 will go as planned.
The website states that customers should make their balance payments normally.
The company has guaranteed that customers will receive a refund if the holidays don’t go – or a voucher with a bonus.
A spokesperson said: “We appreciate that customers are concerned about paying their final balance.
“If customers do not continue with payments, the vacation will unfortunately be canceled.
“We would like to reassure customers that all of our vacation packages are ATOL protected, so that they can pay off the balance with confidence.
“If the vacation needs to be canceled, a refund credit incentive or cash refund option will be offered. “
The company said if your vacation was to take place after May 28, you should continue to pay your installments.
The company says that if your vacation package is canceled, they will offer an ATOL protected refund credit note to book a new stay.
And if you don’t use the refund credit note before its expiration date, you can get a cash refund for any unused portion.
A spokesperson said: “Due to the volume of cancellations and the tedious process of contacting suppliers around the world for cash refunds, it takes longer than we would like to process and issue refunds in. cash.
“We will record and process refund requests in the order they started out, but due to the extraordinary and unprecedented number of cancellations and refunds being requested, refunds are taking much longer than usual to process.”
The vacation company says if your trip is in the coming weeks and you have overdue payments, you have more time to pay.
A statement on the website reads: “You will receive an email in the next few days with information about the new terms of your payment plan.
“We hope that by extending your payment term we have made things a little easier for you during this difficult time.
“You can cancel your reservation at any time from your customer account.
“However, if there are no travel restrictions affecting your trip / destination at the time of cancellation, your cancellation request will be subject to the standard cancellation terms and conditions.
“We will notify you of these charges before continuing. “