You’ve booked that dream holiday in the sun, but the boss has booked those two weeks off for their own holiday and now you have to reschedule. Or perhaps you’ve gone off the idea of your original destination and want to change to somewhere more exotic? No matter what the reason, you have every right to change your mind, and change your booking with Thompsons (or TUI, as it’s now known).
It’s easy to make a change using the ‘Manage My Booking’ service online but be warned, you could incur a slew of extra charges, depending on what kind of booking you’ve made. Because you can book everything from individual flights through to specific accommodation or even a complete all-in-one package holiday, your ability to swap and change if your plans alter is quite broad. However, there are a few things to bear in mind.
Read the Terms and Conditions
Firstly, when you book your holiday initially, you will be asked if you accept the Thompsons/TUI terms and conditions. Once you’ve ticked that ‘yes’ box, you are effectively entering into a contract with TUI that states you have accepted their T&Cs at face value. So before you book your holiday, read the terms and conditions carefully, making note of any specific terms covering changes to bookings and subsequent fees. It’s all there in black and white, so it’s vital you do your homework as a consumer, and don’t just tick the ‘I accept’ box without having read through the T&Cs first.
The most important thing to remember if you’re making any changes to your booking (including changes to flights-only bookings) is that only the person who originally made the booking can make any changes. As flights-only constitutes a single component and not part of a larger holiday package, also bear in mind that the Package Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tours Regulations 1992 do not apply.
How to make changes to your holiday
The easiest way to do it is to use the online ‘Manage My Booking’ service. From there you can cancel a booking, upgrade your room or change your accommodation, add extras (including geographically specific changes such as park tickets in Florida), add or remove passengers, or change your contact details. It’s an online ‘step-by-step’ process, so it should be relatively straightforward to do.
However, these are not changes you can do the night before and get away scot-free. As standard, you need to make the changes to your holiday within 28 days of the holiday departure date. Not only do you need to give TUI a little bit of time to make the changes and accommodate your plans, but if you do a last-minute booking change or cancellation then the penalty fees could be very high.
Talking of fees…
How much is all this going to cost? If you’ve booked a package deal and want to cancel completely then there is a graded scale of charges depending on how much notice you give:
- Outside of 70 days before travel: Loss of full deposit
- 69 – 63 days before travel: 30% cancellation
- 62 – 49 days before travel: 50% cancellation
- 48 – 29 days before travel: 70% cancellation
- 28 – 15 days before travel: 90% cancellation
- 14 – 0 days before travel: 100% cancellation
So if you cancel more than 70 days before you fly, you’ll lose your deposit, whereas if you cancel two weeks before the flight, you’ll lose the full cost of the holiday.
If you want to change your booking rather than cancel, then again, it’s very important to go through the TUI terms and conditions, especially section 11 – ‘If You Change Your Booking’. Amendment fees for changes range from £50 to add or take off a passenger from the group, through to a charge of 100% of the original cost if you want to change accommodation, flight time, airport departure point or length of holiday a fortnight before you were due to fly. Even if the holiday you swap to is cheaper than your original booking, there won’t be any reduction in the price you pay.
The best advice is to make sure your original booking is the one you really want, and only make changes if you absolutely have to and have no alternative. To start swapping your holiday bookings simply because you’ve changed your mind could end up being very costly, so be sure to give TUI a call before you makes those finals swaps.