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.
Check your travel insurance
You might be covered for cancelling a trip if you have travel insurance - check your policy or contact the insurance company if you’re not sure.
If you’ve changed your mind or can’t go
If you’ve changed your mind about a holiday or you can’t go anymore (eg 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 holiday 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.
You booked a holiday including a large room at a resort. The company you booked with contacts you to say that your booking has changed to another resort with a smaller room. You can argue that this is a major change.
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.
If the price of your holiday increases after you book
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.
You book a package online holiday for £500. The company you booked with contacts you 2 weeks later and says the price is now £600. This would be considered a major increase because the price has gone up more than 10%.
If you think that the increase is major, you’ll need to explain this to the company and ask to cancel without a fee.
If the price went up by £40 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.