Nightmare as holiday-makers left out of pocket over cancelled trips

From cancelled trips to Disneyland to losing out on hundreds of pounds – holiday-makers have spoken of their dismay at the coronavirus pandemic.

Sarah and Tony
Sarah and Tony

People from the Black Country have lost out on multiple holidays this year due to national lockdowns and tightened travel restrictions over Covid-19.

And they are facing more dismay due to the second lockdown, which starts on Thursday, with some travellers saying they have lost confidence in booking holidays altogether.

Michelle Burrows, aged 52, from Tipton, was due to fly to America in March having booked tickets to go and see Wrestlemania for her son George, 23, as a Christmas present.

That was the first in a string of holidays that ended up being cancelled for the family in 2020 in what she has dubbed a "nightmare" year.

She lost out on £300 insurance money for that holiday, where they also intended to visit Disneyland, despite never stepping foot on a plane.

"We were booked up ready to go and ready to fly out on March 27 to Florida for two weeks there," she said

"That was cancelled a few days before we were due to fly out.

"Then we had holiday booked for April. We were going away on April 27, the day after my husband's birthday.

"We were going to Weymouth for a week. That was with my uncle who runs an over-50s club. We had already booked that a year before, so that was cancelled. That was rearranged for September and it got cancelled again.

"We had a turkey-and-tinsel break for November 24 but because of lockdown that has been cancelled."

For Andrew Smith, 29, from Willenhall, and his partner Kayleigh Gough, 26, they share a similar holiday nightmare.

The pair ended up losing £900 on a cancelled two-week holiday to Orlando, Florida, in September, while they also had numerous breaks cancelled in 2020.

"The Orlando one was for my birthday's partner," he said. "We saved for 18 months but when we found out it had been cancelled, it was disheartening.

"We are getting to the point where no matter what we book, we feel like it is just going to get cancelled anyway. We have lost confidence in going on holiday now."

The couple also had to cancel a holiday to Wales and a planned trip to Nottingham in November for Mr Smith's 30th birthday.

He added: "I have lost a bit of money. On the one to Orlando, I lost I think about £900 so that was a real kick in the teeth.

"It was gutting. We were also going to go to Wales. My partner's parents have a caravan there. We were going to go there for a weekend but we found two days beforehand Wales was going into a local lockdown.

"We couldn't end up going there either so we felt a bit cursed."

Sarah Heathcock, 40, from Dudley, and her husband Mark, 50, have lost three holidays abroad this year.

Sarah and Mark had booked to go to the Euros

That included plans to see England play at the European Championship football tournament this summer, which got cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Ms Heathcock said: "I have quite a few holidays [cancelled] this year. It started when Thomas Cook went bust at the beginning of the year. I lost a holiday there.

"In April, when lockdown first started, I lost a holiday to Majorca. Then we were due to go to Budapest at the end of May but that got cancelled.

"And then, because we are football fans, we got tickets for the Euros so we were going away to the away games.

"We couldn't go to any of these either. They were scattered around different countries.

"I had one cancelled to Fuerteventura, which was next week, then I have got another one just cancelled, that was for November 30.

"Then I have got one for Jamaica in January so that is most likely won't go ahead either."

She added: "We have lost confidence in travelling. We are a bit dubious about booking anything.

"You are not going to be certain of anything as everything can change overnight. So we won't be in a rush to book."

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