Brits priced out after cancellations face holiday shrinkflation or staying home
Brits are being forced to swap their dream getaways for shorter breaks in different locations often for more money.
Hot on the heels of the Easter break and half-term airport chaos, this summer looks set to be one remembered for hundreds if not thousands of flight cancellations.
While some airlines are grounding planes at the last minute, others are telling their customers several weeks ahead of time that they will not fly.
That leaves would-be air travellers – often strapped for cash as they wait for their money to be refunded – to decide whether to book another holiday.
As Ryan Bennett from Leeds discovered, the getaways that are available at such short notice are generally shorter and more expensive.
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The dog walking business owner had forked out £7,000 18 months ago so his family could jet out to Hurghada in Egypt for a two week stay.
Last week they learned that easyJet was scrapping all flights to the Egyptian resort until the end of July at least.
“We were originally going for two weeks, now it’s 12 days and it’s more expensive than what we paid,” he told The Mirror.
“I’d be willing to pay an extra £500 to go, but some of my holiday has gone.
“EasyJet has not been helpful at all.”
Not only is Ryan having to stump up £700 more for a holiday which is two days shorter than the original one, the family are now heading to Turkey instead of Egypt.
“It’s a lot of money,” Ryan said.
“You work for 18 months to pay for this. It’s very disheartening.”
Many other Brits will have found themselves in Ryan’s position due to a variety of factors, including prices generally being higher the closer to the departure date you are.
A shortage of airport and airline workers, as well as hospitality staff, is squeezing the travel industry and pushing prices up.
Rates of inflation which are now higher than 10% mean that money doesn’t go nearly as far now than when many forward thinking people originally booked their trips away.
Alamy Stock Photo)
Although it is much less inconvenient to have a flight cancelled ahead of time rather than when you’re at the airport, financially it can be worse.
If you’re flight is cancelled 14 days or more before departure you’re unable to claim compensation.
UK consumer law is also abundantly clear on cancelled packages – you get a cash refund if this is your preference.
The Package Travel Regulations 2018 say holidaymakers are entitled to a full refund within 14 days of the cancellation being known.
And if you are arranging your own travel, it’s savvy to pay on a credit card – then you’re covered for up to £30,000 under section 75 of the UK Consumer Credit Act, though this may not apply to bookings made via a third party.
Also, anyone still looking to book getaways this summer and beyond should definitely consider using a professional travel agent who will provide advice and help if flights are cancelled or rescheduled.
A spokesperson for easyJet holidays said: “First of all we’re really sorry to Ryan for the disruption to his holiday and to anyone else who may have experienced a similar situation.
“We never like to cancel holidays as we know how much we all look forward to them. We’ll always try our best to find a suitable alternative to move customers to.
“If we can’t, then customers will be able to rebook a new holiday and this could be for travel either this year or next with any of our holidays currently on sale and we’re offering a promo code for impacted customers which offers up to £200 off their holiday booking.
“We would encourage anyone still wanting to travel this summer to book as soon as possible. But at easyJet holidays we’re confident in offering brilliant value holidays and we have fantastic relationships with hoteliers meaning there are still some great offers in great hotels to encourage UK holidaymakers to visit some of our favourite destinations.”
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