A GLASGOW woman has been left “in tears” as she battles to win a refund for a summer holiday.

Ann Marie McClintock was due to jet off to Turkey in the summer only for the travel market to be grounded by the Covid-19 pandemic. The Baillieston woman booked the package holiday to Dalaman with travel giant’s TUI in  their Glasgow Fort superstore in February.

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Then lockdown hit and the 53-year-old was unable to pay off the rest of her deposit in-store by the end of April. This means she has not only very likely lost out on her holiday but also the chance of getting a refund for what she has already paid. 

Ms McClintock said: “It did leave me in tears and I have quite bad depression, which I am not ashamed to admit. I booked in the shop at the Fort and then as things were going on I was meant to go and pay most of our money by the end of April.

“But, I can’t get a hold of anyone and I can’t pay the rest of it online because I booked in the shop. No one is answering phones or emails or anything I send.

“I have tried 150 times a day and I know there are others who have tried even more than that. They have said you wouldn’t get your deposit back if you don’t pay your money and it is catch-22 for people like me who have paid in the shop.

“They’ve now just told us that’s it. Tough. No holiday and no refund and it’s just goodbye from them.”

TUI has come under pressure in recent weeks after sticking firmly by a policy to only refund passengers who can provide a sick note from a doctor saying travelling would put them at-risk because of a pre-existing condition.

Ms McClintock, who was due to travel with her nieces Chelsea McAuley, 16, and 17-year-old Elle Glassford, added: “They are getting the interest off our money and we are getting told it is tough and we have to accept it. I am only really missing out on £400, but £400 right now, and I had to retire due to illness, is a lot of money to me. I’ve not got that kind of money to lose.

“It was a saving up all year kind of thing for that holiday for me and my nieces. There are others and full families who will be losing thousands of pounds.

“TUI have our money and are making interest on it and we are getting told it is tough s**t.”

Guy Anker, deputy editor at MoneySavingExpert.com, said Ms McClintock should raise her case with ABTA – The Travel Association, if TUI did not offer honour her package. 

He said: “Morality wise it is pretty straightforward and they have to honour it. She is doing her best and I would hope they put it right.

“This is not someone looking for advice on their holiday being cancelled. This is someone who has actually tried to do something but can’t get through to TUI.

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“Logic would say to me ABTA should be able to mediate with TUI if they don’t offer a solution.” 

A TUI spokesperson said: “For customers who have booked in store, we’d advise them to call our customer service team on 0800 009 3836 or 0203 636 1997 between 9am and 5.30pm from Monday to Friday.

“Our phone lines are exceptionally busy right now.”