Covid-19: TUI 'laughed at us' and 'sent round bailiffs' says couple who refuse to pay £1700 cancellation fee for holiday to Turkey

Leah Maybourne and Ben Johnson from Maidstone, Kent had booked a week in Turkey through TUI back in January before the pandemic.

Covid-19: TUI ‘laughed at us’: They paid a £100 deposit for the holiday which cost around £2000 but were told to pay a £1700 cancellation fee by Tui after they tried to back out because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Ben, 62, falls inside the vulnerable group due to asthma the couple said, and they felt unsafe going abroad.

However, Tui sent round bailiffs to recover the losses and the couple say they felt ‘bullied.’

Leah, 42, said TUI initially told her over the phone she could transfer the dates to next year free of charge but when she went into the branch in Week Street, her experience was not so straight forward.

“The staff told us to change the dates we would have to pay a cancellation fee of about £1,700. The holiday was only about £2,000 in the first place,” she said.

“The lady said if we don’t pay they will send the bailiffs round.

“The staff in the shop were laughing at me because I said I didn’t want to go because I don’t feel safe.

“I started having a panic attack and so we just had to leave before it got any worse.

“I’m absolutely disgusted with the way we were treated.”

The couple said they felt unsafe to go as Turkey suffered 20,000 cases in just one week.

A TUI UK spokesman said: “We’re very disappointed to hear of these claims and would like to apologize to the customer for their experience.

“We will be conducting an internal investigation with our Maidstone store.

“As the customer’s holiday is still due to operate as planned, our normal booking terms and conditions apply.”

Last week health official confirmed seven people on TUI flight 6215 from Zante to Cardiff tested positive for corona virus. And will have to remain in isolation for 14 days.

Turkey is not on the UK government’s list of restricted travel.

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