Some holidaymakers who've been persuaded by Tui and Jet2holidays to accept credit notes rather than cash refunds for cancelled holidays are facing huge price increases when they try to rebook.
In some cases, families trying to move their summer holidays from 2020 to 2021 are being quoted almost double what they paid this year for like-for-like holidays.
Tui is advertising an additional 20% credit if customers accept a credit note rather than a refund while Jet2holidays offers up to £100 off new bookings. But for some customers the price increases far outweigh the rebooking incentives.
In one of the worst examples Which? uncovered, Steph Buck, who had paid Tui £1,158 for a holiday to Menorca which was due to depart on 30 May 2020 was quoted £2,467 to rebook the same package departing on 30 May next year.
Tui pointed out that, unlike this year, 30 May falls at the beginning of the school half-term in 2021, making it a more expensive time to travel. However, Ms Buck said if she transferred her holiday to June 4 next year, after the half-term holiday, she would still have been charged £2,212, a 91% increase.
Tui told Which? that part of the reason that Ms Buck's holiday price had increased was because it would not apply discounts from her original holiday on the rebooking. A Tui spokesperson said: 'Unfortunately we are in a different booking period, therefore the promo code isn't available and the discount we are offering on the adult price is slightly lower.'
Some existing TUI customers who accepted credit notes have also ended up paying inflated prices due to delays in receiving their paperwork.
Tanya Mason, who has booked multiple trips with the holiday company over the past 20 years, watched the price of her family holiday to Lanzarote increase while waiting to receive her voucher to rebook.
Ms Mason ended up paying £1,050 extra, an increase of 42%.
In response, a Tui spokesperson said: 'There are many variables to take into account when setting holiday pricing, and these can contribute to price fluctuations from year to year or even throughout the year.' Tui advised clients to use their refund credit to re-book 'as soon as possible'.
Tui is also offering customers with an existing booking for a future holiday the opportunity to rebook 'free of charge'. But when Jill Kensley changed her family holiday from June 2020 to May 2021, TUI charged her £165 per person more than the price quoted on its own website. She paid a total of £1,312 more than if she'd been a new customer.
She wasn't able to rebook online to get the lower price because her original reservation had been made in a Tui store, which was closed, so she had no choice but to ring the call centre. 'I know from previous experience that the online price has always been honoured in-store or by telephone, but this time Tui refused,' said Ms Kensley.
In response, Tui said: 'Where customers are receiving expert advice and fully assisted personal service given by our staff, the package price is higher than our website.'
Some customers of the UK's second largest tour operator have also faced increased prices.
Jet2holidays' customer Kailey Doyle, whose all-inclusive family holiday to Rhodes in May half-term was cancelled, said: 'We paid £2,700 for May this year, the exact same holiday for next May is £2,180 dearer, it's ridiculous and so frustrating.'
Another Jet2holidays customer Nici Pitman decided to claim a refund after she was quoted more than 50% extra to rebook her cancelled family holiday to Tenerife for almost exactly the same dates next year.
Jet2holidays told Which? 'Our pricing, as is common practice in the travel industry, is based on the principle of supply and demand so as supply reduces, a consequence is that some prices increase. It is also important to note that a number of our input costs have increased too.'