Posted by Julia Roxan on 29 August 2017

Cancelling a holiday

Your rights to cancel a holiday (or a particular part of a holiday like a flight or a hotel booking) usually depend on the terms and conditions of your booking, and your reason for wanting to cancel.

You might be entitled to cancel the holiday without a cancellation fee if the holiday company changes the holiday or puts the price up after you book.

If you’ve changed your mind about a holiday or you can’t go anymore (e.g. because of an emergency), you should check the terms and conditions of your booking to see what your options are. It’s likely that you’ll either have to pay a cancellation fee or won’t be entitled to any refund at all. Contact the company if you can’t find your terms and conditions.

If a travel company changes the holiday after you book it you have the legal right to cancel without charge if the company has made ‘major changes’ to the holiday after you booked it. There’s no exact definition for what a major change is. It might include changing the resort or moving you to a much smaller room than you booked. Contact the company you booked with and explain to them why the original booking was important to your circumstances and explain why you think the changes are ‘major’. Ask for a refund or to rearrange the holiday.

You have the legal right to get a refund or book a different holiday if the company makes a ‘major increase’ to the price of the holiday. There’s no exact definition for what a major increase is - the Association of British Travel Agents suggests that 10% or more is a ‘major increase’. However, this is only a guide.

If you think that the increase is major, you’ll need to explain this to the company and ask to cancel without a fee. For example if the price went up by £40 on a £500 holiday and you think it’s unreasonable, you could still try and say that the price is a ‘major increase’, even though it’s less than 10% - there are no strict guidelines.

You might want to get advice from the Citizens Advice consumer helpline (tel. 03454 04 05 06).