One of the country’s biggest airlines has decided to refund all customers who have lost out due to coronavirus.
TUI has decided to pay out their customers that have lost out on money by the end of the month.
This comes after the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said that it received a huge number of complaints from people who said that companies were withholding their cash.
The coronavirus pandemic has been causing travel chaos for tons of passengers in the country as certain countries have been quarantined and trips have been cancelled.
The CMA said TUI’s UK division has engaged constructively throughout the investigation.
It added: “While the vast majority of people have already received their refunds or rebooked during the CMA’s investigation, any outstanding refund requests for people who had their package holiday cancelled as a result of coronavirus (Covid-19) will be paid by 30 September 2020.”
Travel firms have faced the majority of complaints over poor customer practices since the CMA said it would investigate any business trying to take advantage of the pandemic to either hike prices or withhold refunds.
Officials had previously slammed the wedding insurance market for failing to make insurance payouts for cancelled nuptials.
But during the height of the pandemic, the CMA revealed four out of five complaints it received related to cancelled holidays and trips – with many complaining that travel firms were automatically offering vouchers instead of cash.
The CMA said on the TUI decision: “It is important they (customers) know they are entitled to a cash refund as an alternative.”
Tui, which is listed on the London and Frankfurt stock exchanges and headquartered in Germany, will be expected to regularly report to the CMA over the next year to update on the repayments.
These commitments apply to all of TUI’s UK’s different businesses that offer package holidays, including First Choice, First Choice Holidays, Marella Cruises, Crystal Ski, Crystal, TUI Scene, TUI Lakes & Mountains and Skytours, the CMA added.
The move follows letters sent by the watchdog to over 100 package holiday businesses to remind them of their legal obligations to give back customers’ cash.
It added: “The CMA understands that the pandemic has created extraordinary pressure for travel companies, including Tui UK.
“However, customers who had their holidays cancelled due to coronavirus must be treated fairly and receive their refunds promptly.
“It is essential that that all businesses comply with consumer protection law so that people are not being left out of pocket.”
The CMA published guidance for businesses earlier this year to help them understand their legal obligations.
Andrea Coscelli, the CMA’s chief executive, added: “The CMA is continuing to investigate package holiday firms in the context of the Covid-19 crisis.
“If we find that businesses are not complying with consumer protection law, we will not hesitate to take further action.”
The move comes a day after Thomas Cook relaunched as an online-only operation, a year after the 178-year-old firm went bust, stranding 150,000 holidaymakers abroad.