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North Ayrshire and Arran MP and SNP Consumer Affairs Spokesperson Patricia Gibson, has again demanded action after the latest estimations from Which? revealed that people in North Ayrshire are owed more than £2 million in withheld refunds for cancelled holidays.

Customers across Scotland are waiting on more than £82 million in refunds according to the results of the survey of more than 7,500 people who had a package holiday cancelled as a result of the pandemic.

Holiday companies are required by law to refund money within 14 days but the huge number of cancellations has left many firms overwhelmed. Of those surveyed, 21% of travellers who requested a refund in March were still waiting at the beginning of October.

The average cost of a cancelled holiday is £1,784.

Commenting on the figures, Patricia said:

“For many people, this saga has rumbled on for far too long. It’s time for the UK government and the market regulator to conclude this situation by ensuring full refunds, not least to bring confidence back to a hard-hit industry.

“I have raised this matter frequently with the UK Government, which has powers in this area.

“Times are tough financially for many local families, and while I appreciate holiday companies were inundated with refund requests earlier in the year, we are now in November.

“However, we aren’t talking about spare change here; the average cost of a cancelled holiday was £1,784 according to this survey.

“While we all recognise the travel industry’s acute financial difficulties, there can be no excuse for hoarding the hard-earned cash of their hard-pressed customers.

“As a matter of urgency, the UK government needs to set out how travel companies will be supported financially to fulfil their legal obligations to passengers – and take firm action against those who continue to drag their feet.

“I would urge anyone in my own constituency who still awaits a refund to get in touch and I will offer any support I can to make sure you get your money back.”


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