Home > Ask Our Experts > Travel Agent Won't Cancel Mexico Holiday: What Can I Do?

Travel Agent Won't Cancel Mexico Holiday: What Can I Do?

By: Thomas Muller - Updated: 29 Dec 2012 | comments*Discuss
Fco Swine Flu Pandemic Refund Re-booking


I am meant to be going to Cancun in Mexico on 8th june with my grandaughter age 4. Due to swine flu and the advice the Foreign and Commonwealth Office has given, I don't want to risk travelling there. I phoned my travel agents who say I can't cancel or change holiday and if I want to change location it will cost me £40 per person. Surely I can change without charge?

(E.D, 12 May 2009)


It’s understandable to be concerned about an impending trip to a country in the grip of a swine flu pandemic - especially with a young child - and there are a great many holidaymakers that have found themselves faced with a similar quandary as your self.

Financial Protection

Fortunately, in being such a widespread and officially-recognised concern – with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advising against travels to Mexico at present - almost all tour operators, airlines and resorts have put in place concessions, re-booking or refund policies. Package holiday travellers in particular should be protected from any financial loss.

However, as you have discovered, such concessionary measures can vary significantly - particularly in relation to how imminent the holiday is.

Immediate Threat

As the threat level of the swine flu pandemic – and advice from the FCO - can change from day to day, many travel companies are only offering options for full cancellation and refund or re-booking for the immediate period. For instance, at the time of writing (11th May) Thomas Cook were cancelling holidays and offering alternative arrangements or full refunds for trips departing to Cancun up to and including May 18th.

However, travel companies will likely alter their refund and amendment policies as more information becomes available. Thomas Cook will likely keep extending their cancellation and refund policy while the FCO warning remains in place.

Changing Policy

Although your travel agent is currently saying that they are not able to cancel your holiday or change its location without a charge, it is very possible that their stance will change if the FCO are still advising travellers to stay away from Cancun by the beginning of June. It is therefore advisable to keep in regular contact with the travel agent or tour operator.

If the travel agent is a member of the travel associations ABTA or ATOL then while the FCO warning is in place, you should be entitled to receive an alternative holiday or full refund. Additionally, if you have purchased the holiday using a credit card then you will have financial protection.

However, if, for whatever reason, your travel company does not revise its stance and its holidays to Cancun remain unaffected then you may be able to cancel the trip and claim for a refund from your travel insurance policy instead. You will have grounds to make a claim if you haven't been able to get any money back from the travel agent. But, whether you'll receive a refund depends on the travel insurance policy itself, and the specific cover it provides.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Why not be the first to leave a comment for discussion, ask for advice or share your story...

If you'd like to ask a question one of our experts (workload permitting) or a helpful reader hopefully can help you... We also love comments and interesting stories

(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
Enter word:
Latest Comments
    Re: Travel and Holiday Regulatory Bodies Complaint
    Our flight was cancelled due to Covid, after hours of waiting on-hold, my refund was granted and confirmed…
    15 July 2020
  • Hickers
    Re: Who You Can Complain to About Landlords
    I am supposed to be moving I to my new rented home in the 20th July. The landlord is an Estate Agency who has…
    13 July 2020
  • Trust GOD
    Re: How to Complain About Your Boss
    I think such complaints must be escalated to HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION and strict action to be taken against such inhuman bosses.
    11 July 2020
  • Josie
    Re: Travel and Holiday Regulatory Bodies Complaint
    Booked flights plus hotel in St Petersburg in early Feb for departure 23 May to 29 with Opodo. Emailed them…
    3 July 2020
  • Nhc
    Re: Who To Complain To
    Left honeymoon couple stranded in turkey and now wont refund our flight money easyjet has paid to them. Next move small claims court. I've…
    2 July 2020
  • Nhc
    Re: Who To Complain To
    Left honeymoon couple stranded in turkey and now wont refund our flight money easyjet has paid to them. Next move small claims court. I've…
    2 July 2020
  • jo1970
    Re: Who To Complain To
    Like many others, I had a holiday booked since 20th January for 30th June to Lanzarote. They insisted on me paying the final balance last…
    23 June 2020
  • MoneyPennie40
    Re: Dealing With Nightmare Housemates
    I've just moved into a 3bed flatshare, since being here, I've noticed 1 of the tenants never seem to clean up after…
    22 June 2020
  • Yanka
    Re: Dealing With Nightmare Housemates
    where I can complain about the inappropriate behavior of a roommate., but we don't know what to do and we are afraid to…
    22 June 2020
    Re: Who To Complain To
    what happens if you do not pay the full balance? I have paid for flights but they have been cancelled. I have emailed proof, and tried calling…
    4 June 2020