MONEYSAVINGEXPERT has named more than 50 of the best and worst travel firms for refunds.
Brits have been forced to cancel and reschedule their holidays amid the coronavirus pandemic, but many are struggling to get their money back.
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In a survey of 27,000 respondents, MoneySavingExpert asked travellers for their rating and experiences dealing with 81 airlines and travel firms.
These were then ranked by subtracting the percentage who had a poor experience from those who had a great experience with the company.
Of the 53 firms that received more than 100 responses, travel agent Travel Trolley was found the worst with a net score of -95 per cent.
It was closely followed by TravelUp at -95 per cent (with a slightly lower proportion of “poor” votes) and Teletext Holidays at -94 per cent.
Of the big-name firms the worst were Ryanair at -82 per cent and Tui at -60 per cent.
The best and worst firms for refunds
BELOW are the best and worst travel companies for cancellation refunds and customer service, according to the MoneySavingExpert survey.
- Travel Counsellors – Score: 91 (207 responses)
- Hays Travel – Score: 70 (1,017 responses)
- Airbnb – Score: 56 (924 responses)
- Jet2 Holidays – Score: 54 (1,621 responses)
- Jet2 – Score: 47 (1,593 responses)
- British Airways Holidays – Score: 45 (289 responses)
- Center Parcs – Score: 42 (202 responses)
- Disney Holidays – Score: 37 (147 responses)
- Trailfinders – Score: 32 (233 responses)
- Haven – Score: 30 (212 responses)
- Saga – Score: 26 (151 responses)
- Hotels.com – Score: 21 (441 responses)
- Booking.com – Score: 18 (1,178 responses)
- Easyjet Holidays – Score: 10 (163 responses)
- British Airways – Score: 8 (1,809 responses)
- HomeAway – Score: 8 (199 responses)
- American Airlines – Score: 1 (123 responses)
- Ebookers – Score: -11 (108 responses)
- Onthebeach – Score: -18 (283 responses)
- Qatar Airways – Score: -21 (112 responses)
- Travel Republic – Score: -27 (266 responses)
- Easyjet – Score: -28 (2,425 responses)
- Expedia – Score: -28 (811 responses)
- P&O Cruises – Score: -30 (603 responses)
- Eurotunnel – Score: -35 (106 responses)
- Aer Lingus – Score: -38 (193 responses)
- Norwegian – Score: -42 (196 responses)
- Riviera – Score: -45 (142 responses)
- Eurostar – Score: -46 (239 responses)
- Wizz Air – Score: -48 (158 responses)
- Emirates – Score: -48 (450 responses)
- Lufthansa – Score: -49 (142 responses)
- Brittany Ferries – Score: -50 (253 responses)
- Virgin Atlantic – Score: -51 (627 responses)
- Cottages.com – Score: -54 (244 responses)
- First Choice – Score: -60 (223 responses)
- Tui – Score: -60 (3,252 responses)
- Vueling – Score: -61 (119 responses)
- Hoseasons – Score: -68 (451 responses)
- Love Holidays – Score: -70 (677 responses)
- Virgin Holidays – Score: -73 (775 responses)
- Air France – Score: -76 (149 responses)
- Secret Escapes – Score: -76 (299 responses)
- STA Travel – Score: -77 (150 responses)
- Sykes Cottages – Score: -79 (610 responses)
- KLM – Score: -82 (596 responses)
- Ryanair – Score: -82 (2,563 responses)
- Opodo – Score: -86 (283 responses)
- Lastminute.com – Score: -87 (550 responses)
- Holiday Extras – Score: -92 (291 responses)
- Teletext Holidays – Score: -94 (251 responses)
- TravelUp – Score: -95 (593 responses)
- Travel Trolley – Score: -95 (338 responses)
On the other end of the spectrum, travel agency Travel Counsellers was crowned the best with a net score of 91 per cent.
It was followed by Hays Travel with 70 per cent and Airbnb with 56 per cent.
Other big names that did well were Jet2 Holidays with 54 per cent, Booking.com with 18 per cent and British Airways with 8 per cent.
Although many respondents judged the firms that failed to give a refund, some poor ratings were also about difficulties to get in touch and “terrible” management of expectations, MoneySavingExpert said.
The consumer website said it’ll now report the findings to the government’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, the Competition and Markets Authority and the Civil Aviation Authority.
The survey comes as Which? found that travel firms including TUI, Ryanair and British Airways are breaking the law by failing to issue refunds for cancelled holidays.
The Competition and Markets Authority has also announced it’ll investigate holiday firms over unfair coronavirus cancellations.
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Martin Lewis, founder of MoneySavingExpert, said: “This is a tough time for the travel industry.
“It’s one of the sectors worst hit by coronavirus, but it’s a tough time for the public too, many of whom are also in dire straits.
“And they’ve been strident in telling us that they’ll remember how firms dealt with them during this time – good and bad.
“Sadly, out of the 53 companies rated, only 17 were net positive.
“Yet that means they should get even louder plaudits for trying to do it right.
“They’re struggling, but are protecting customers too, and the likelihood is when this is all over, they’ll come out stronger and with more brand loyalty because of it.”
The Sun contacted the seven worst travel firms, according to the survey, including Travel Trolley, TravelUp, Teletext Holidays, Holiday Extras, Lastminute.com, Opodo and Ryanair for comment.
Wayne Perks, managing director at Teletext Holidays, told The Sun: “Teletext Holidays prides itself on its high level of customer satisfaction, and are committed to putting clients first and making sure their needs are met.
“Despite the adverse environment we find ourselves in, and all the constraints put upon us, we are working exceptionally hard to support our customers at this unprecedented and very difficult time.”
It added that it doesn’t keep customer’s cash for booked holidays within the business, and is experiencing “long delays” in receiving money back from airlines.
While a spokesperson for Holiday Extras told The Sun the survey by MoneySavingExpert was based on “old information”.
It added: “As soon as it became clear that our millions of customers would not be able to fly as a result of the lockdown, we immediately started contacting our hundreds of suppliers and partners to cancel our customers’ bookings and convert them into vouchers.
“Our booking terms and conditions have always allowed us to adjust our refund policy in events beyond our control and we have chosen to take this alternative approach.”
Holiday Extras said that 85 per cent of its customers have accepted vouchers, while the remaining bookings before March 17 have had cash refunds processed.
It added: “Refunds for customers whose bookings with us were cancelled after that date and who have told us they would prefer cash are now being processed in order via our teams, as a gesture of goodwill.”
A spokesperson for Travel Up said: “We understand that on occasions during this global pandemic we may have fallen short of the expected service levels our customers have experienced historically and for this we apologise.”
They added that the pandemic has meant that their team has been “significantly reduced” and that staff have been working “extremely hard to service as many customer as possible in the most efficient way possible.”
The Sun has contacted Travel Trolley, Lastminute.com, Opodo and Ryanair for comment.
We’ve explained how to get a refund if you’ve got a holiday booked this summer.
Holidaymakers rescheduling trips are also being warned to check that their travel insurance will cover rebookings.