B2B Engagement

Travel firms Tui and Thomas Cook have cancelled holidays after new coronavirus lockdown restrictions were imposed. Tui said it was “cancelling all holidays in line with international travel restrictions”.

It added that said customers due to depart from England, Scotland and Wales would be contacted to discuss options. Thomas Cook said it would call customers to offer refunds or rebooking.

Tui said that customers due to travel from an English airport before mid-February, or from a Scottish or Welsh airport up to 31 January, would not be able to do so. Those customers will be contacted “in departure date order to discuss their options”, Tui said, which include rebooking “with an incentive”, getting a credit note, or a full refund.

“Customers currently overseas can continue to enjoy their holidays as planned and we will update them directly if there are any changes to their holidays,” Tui added.

Thomas Cook, which became an online-only travel brand in September after its earlier collapse, said: “Following the announcement of the latest lockdown, we are calling our customers to offer refunds or move their holidays to a later date.”.

Chief executive Alan French said: “We’ve seen over the festive period that customers are looking ahead to the summer and beginning to book in earnest for those important summer weeks in the sun.

“I am sure that after many more weeks spent at home – and with the progress of the vaccine rollout – we will see an even bigger demand for people to escape to the beach this summer.”

Last month, a number of countries suspended routes to the UK due to the rapid spread of a new variant of coronavirus. The blanket travel ban to the EU was then lifted, but with rules varying from country to country. The suspension of flights between the UK and China remains in place.

Last year Tui was investigated by competition authorities after complaints that it had not given prompt refunds. As of Tuesday afternoon, British Airways Holidays was still offering holidays to Barbados and St Lucia on its website.

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