Lastminute.com to pay £7m in refunds

Lastminute.com has agreed to pay over £7m in refunds following pressure from the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).

The watchdog ensured the holiday firm should refund over 9,000 customers after holidays were cancelled due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

Following CMA intervention, the group has now signed formal commitments to pay these refunds as soon as possible.

 Andrea Coscelli, chief executive of the CMA, said: “Online travel agents have a legal responsibility to provide prompt refunds to customers whose holidays have been cancelled due to coronavirus – irrespective of whether the agent received refunds from airlines and accommodation providers.”

“Our action today means that customers whose holidays were cancelled by Lastminute.com will receive their money back without undue delay.”

“The CMA is continuing to investigate package holiday firms following concerns that people are not getting the refunds they’re entitled to when bookings can’t go ahead because of the pandemic. If we find that businesses are breaching consumer protection law, we will not hesitate to take further action.”

Half of the customers who are owed a refund will be paid by 16 December, with the rest receiving refunds by the end of January.

It’s not only Lastminute.com who has been chased by the regulator. The CMA is chasing over 100 package holiday firms to ensure refunds are paid to customers who have seen their holidays cancelled.

The CMA received confirmation from Virgin Holidays in October that the group would refund all customers “without undue delay” following many complaints.