Coronavirus in Scotland: Disappointed Edinburgh holidaymakers owed nearly £8 million for cancelled trips

Disappointed Edinburgh holidaymakers are owed nearly £8 million in refunds for trips they had to cancel because of Covid.
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Consumer magazine Which? has estimated customers across the UK are still awaiting the return of more than £1 billion from package holiday providers. The figure for Edinburgh was £7,858,609.

Holiday companies are required to refund money within 14 days but the huge number of cancellations has left many of firms overwhelmed.

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The magazine found four in 10 holiday cancellations had resulted in people waiting over a month to get their money back and 21 per cent of those surveyed who requested a refund in March were still waiting at the beginning of October.

The average cost of a cancelled holiday was £1,784.The average cost of a cancelled holiday was £1,784.
The average cost of a cancelled holiday was £1,784.

Edinburgh Pentlands SNP MSP Gordon MacDonald called for action to ensure people were not left out of pocket any longer.

He said: “For many people, this saga has rumbled on for far too long – it’s time for the UK government and the market regulator to get a hold of this situation.

“Times are tough financially for many local families, and while I appreciate holiday companies were inundated with refund requests earlier in the year, we are now in November.

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“We aren’t talking about spare change here – the average cost of a cancelled holiday was £1,784 according to this survey.”

Around 9.4 million people are estimated to have had a holiday cancelled because of the pandemic – and the latest toughened restrictions threaten further cancellations.

Mr MacDonald said: “While we all recognise the travel industry’s acute financial difficulties, there can be no excuse for them hoarding the hard-earned cash of their hard-pressed customers.

“As a matter of urgency, the UK government needs to set out how travel companies will be supported financially to fulfil their legal obligations to passengers – and take firm action against those who continue to drag their feet."

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During the summer, the Competition and Markets Authority launched an investigation into package travel companies' handling of cancellations and refunds.

Mr MacDonald said he was ready to support anyone in his constituency still waiting on a refund from March to make sure they got their money back.

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