IF your TUI holiday has been delayed or cancelled, you may be entitled to a refund and compensation.
But a simple mistake when filling out the forms could lead to the repeated rejection of your application.
It sounds absurd, but travelers with double-barreled surnames actually have to misspell their name to qualify for the money.
Your passport may have a hyphen between the two words, but to receive the money you are entitled to, it must be removed.
A mother, whose journey to and from Corfu was delayed for 24 hours, has been told she can claim £350 per person in compensation.
But each time she filled out the paperwork, her application was refused.
Eventually, she noticed that the boarding pass belonging to her daughter, who shares her mother’s and father’s surnames, was printed in one word – despite booking the holiday with the correct formatting.
So she entered the youngster’s last name the same way as on the form and miraculously he was processed immediately.
TUI has confirmed that this is standard procedure, but nowhere in the instructions is this clear.
Only in the fine print on the rejection emails is it written: “Please check the spelling of your name, date of birth and TUI booking reference – it must match exactly your booking confirmation.
“Please do not include special characters (-‘) or include middle names, as these details must match our manifest exactly.”
A TUI spokesperson told The Sun: “Our team has reviewed this and confirmed that the names should be added without the hyphen.”
The mum, who was traveling from Doncaster Sheffield Airport, now wants to urge other families to follow her advice to force the holiday giant to spit out what its customers deserve.
She said: “There is a very small part of the rejection email that says not to include special characters, but that should be a lot clearer.
“At first, none of us were recognized, but I saw on Facebook that we had to keep submitting the forms.
“Eventually my parents and we were found and compensation was awarded, but my daughter was not found.
“I asked her if she still had her boarding pass back and noticed her last name was one word, so I resubmitted it and eventually she was recognised.
“I booked the holiday with the correct spelling of his surname as it appears on his passport.
“If I had spelled it like TUI did, she probably would have been denied boarding or charged with changing her name.”
Holidaymakers have been hit by months of travel chaos, with widespread delays and cancellations.
The disruption has worsened over the past two weeks due to the surge in demand triggered by midterm and the Platinum Jubilee weekend.
EasyJet has already canceled 600 flights this month, while TUI was forced to cancel more than 180 in June.
And Gatwick Airport today cut 4,000 flights over the summer.
The aviation industry blamed staff shortages, rising passenger numbers and Covid.
Delayed short-haul passengers could be entitled to compensation of up to £220, while those on medium or long-haul flights could receive £350 or £520.
How do I request a refund or compensation?
Citizens Advice says you need to make a claim through your airline for compensation – and each airline is likely to have a different claim process for this.
Visit your airline’s website for more information or call them.
Most passengers will be protected by what is known as denied boarding regulations.
This means you should be offered either a full refund for a canceled flight or a seat on the next possible flight, or another at a better time.
You must be taken care of if you wait a certain time between the canceled flight and your new flight as well.
Thus, if you have an overnight stay between the refunded flight and the time of cancellation, you will benefit from meals, accommodation and transfers provided for inconvenience.
But you might also be in line for compensation.
If you are departing from the UK, you are legally entitled to compensation if your arrival is delayed by three hours or more.
Usually, if passengers receive less than two weeks’ notice that their flight is cancelled, they are also entitled to compensation.
But the exact amount you get under EU compensation rules depends on when the airline informed you of the delay.
The minimum you can claim is £220 – but the maximum is £520 if you’ve booked a longer flight.
If you are not satisfied with an airline’s response to your claim, you can submit it to the Center for Effective Dispute Resolution (CEDR) within 12 months of the flight.