Vacation surcharges: British packagers hitting customers up for more money

Americans are not the only ones getting hit hard with vacation surcharges that are being driven, largely, by the increasing costs of fuel. The Times of London reports that 18 vacation package companies in Britain have begun contacting customers to tell them they’ll need to shell out a little bit more for that anticipated getaway than they thought when they initially booked, to cover not only fuel costs but the growing strength of the euro.

Of course, maybe you’ve booked through a British packager. If so, this affects you.

Eighteen British packagers are scrambling right now, among them:

  • Bales Worldwide
  • Solmar
  • Noble Caledonia
  • Discover the World

If you’ve booked with any of these guys for upcoming trips, expect your phone to ring soon. They’re giving customers a pretty clear choice: pay more money or forfeit your deposit.

The Times says that the law only requires packagers to cover cost increases of up to 2 percent. Above that, they are legally allowed to demand 10 percent more money from you without giving you the option of a refund on the vacation.

One example of extra fees: Customers who have booked Egypt and Nile river cruise vacations through Bales Worldwide are being asked for an additional $110-$140 to cover “currency fluctuations.”

Vacations that are most affected are those booked for travel in the euro monetary zone. If you’ve booked with a British or European packager for a trip this summer, Gadling suggests you call your packager and find out where it stands on surcharges, so that you’re not taken by surprise at the last minute.