Operators ‘expected to introduce 10% surcharges’

A report in the Sunday Times that surcharges of up to 10% on the price of holidays can be expected next year was based on the miss-reported comments of Abta chairman Noel Josephides.

The Sunday Times warned of the surcharges on holidays as operators struggle with the “double whammy” of rising hotel prices and the weak pound.

The newspaper quoted Abta chairman Josephides, chairman of Sunvil, as saying companies were “caught unawares” by Brexit.

It reported surcharges are likely to become commonplace as the industry fights to maintain its margins, quoting Josephides as saying: “Some operators are very exposed. Cheaper holidays in Greece will rise by about 8%, and in the luxury sector by as much as 17%.”

However, Josphides told Travel Weekly: “I did not say operators will be surcharging wholesale. I said prices would go up between 3%-4% and 8%, but the lower figure was omitted.”

Surcharges can be imposed if a travel company can prove that costs have risen for reasons beyond its control. The first 2% of any increase must be absorbed by the operator.

If the surcharge exceeds 10%, the customer is entitled to cancel with a full refund.

The advice for travellers is to “ask when booking if the price is guaranteed”, said Josephides, adding that those booking no-deposit deals were most likely to face increases.

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