Coronavirus (COVID-19)—LoveHolidays to refund over £18m to 44,000 customers by March 2021

Coronavirus (COVID-19)—LoveHolidays to refund over £18m to 44,000 customers by March 2021

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has announced that LoveHolidays is to refund over £18m for cancelling holidays amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The announcement follows an investigation into LoveHolidays arising from hundreds of complaints received from people awaiting refunds from cancelled holidays. The investigation revealed that when customers contacted LoveHolidays to request a refund for their cancelled holiday, LoveHolidays said they would only receive money back for their flights once the firm had received refunds from the respective airlines. Under the Package Travel and Linked Travel Arrangements Regulations 2018, SI 2018/634, online travel agents are 'legally bound to refund customers for package holidays cancelled due to coronavirus, regardless of whether or not the agent has received money back from suppliers.'

LoveHolidays has signed undertakings that will ensure the customers receive all their money back. In total, over £18m will be refunded to 44,000 customers by March 2021 at the latest.

This announcement follows action by the CMA in relation to holiday cancellations due to coronavirus. The CMA has written to over 100 package holiday firms to remind them of their obligations to comply with consumer protection law, and has already secured refund commitments from companies such as Lastminute.com, Virgin Holidays, TUI UK, Sykes Cottages and Vacation Rentals.

You can view the undertaking here.

The Chief Executive of the CMA, Andrea Coscelli, stated: 'Travel agents have a legal responsibility to make prompt refunds to customers whose holidays have been cancelled due to coronavirus.'

'Our action today means that LoveHoliday’s customers now have certainty over when they will receive their money back and they will receive this without undue delay.'

'We are continuing to investigate package travel firms and where we find evidence that businesses are breaching consumer law, we will not hesitate to take enforcement action to protect consumers.'

Sources:

 LoveHolidays to refund over £18 million for cancelled holidays

• COVID-19 cancellations: package holidays

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