A fiancé was heartbroken after discovering on Facebook that TUI had canceled her dream wedding.
Hope Woolston and her partner booked the wedding and vacation to Costa Rica in May this year for the same month in 2023, assured that TUI was the “stress-free” way to hitchhike. However, four months later, Hope read on social media that TUI was closing trips to the Central American country.
To write for Essex LiveHope said: “Those booked up to the end of April had their bookings cancelled.
“TUI also stopped offering holidays to Costa Rica between February and November 2023 and some customers were told they would only offer it as a winter destination from now on.
“This put me in a total panic – was my dream wedding cancelled? And what could I do about it?”
Hope and her husband had chosen Costa Rica for its “tropical climate” and fascinating wildlife.
But the woman burst into tears at her mother’s house after reading the news.
Hope, from Colchester, Essex, continued: “I remember bursting into tears at my mother’s house not knowing what we were going to do. We contacted TUI and were told it had been confirmed until April but there was nothing was said about May yet (although posts on Facebook suggested otherwise).
“Over the next few weeks we tried to stay positive and carry on as if we were still at it as nothing had been confirmed. However, about a month ago we got a call that TUI would not fly to Costa Rica in May.
“Despite being told by a TUI employee, the store we booked at refused to confirm that our wedding and family holiday would not be going ahead, instead telling us they were processing the canceled bookings in order of date. When and if our booking was cancelled, we would get a 10 percent ‘rebooking incentive’.
“However, that discount was from current prices, which I saw go up by hundreds of pounds each week, rather than May’s prices when we booked. The next few weeks were very stressful and confusing with different people telling us different things. “
“One person told us we could go and rebook before the cancellation was confirmed, but we wouldn’t get the discount, while another told us we had to pay for that. We were given a date when the discount code would be available, but it went passed and nothing happened.
“I felt like I was being left in limbo with no control over my wedding day, with less than eight months to go until I got married. I had no idea what was going on. TUI prices rose until the point we would’ I couldn’t afford a wedding like we initially booked and my trust in the company started to wane.”
Now Hope wants to bring attention to the chaotic situation by sharing her own experience.
Within days of using her position as a journalist, she spoke to a business executive.
He was very apologetic and confirmed that TUI was no longer flying to Costa Rica in May and that our booking was cancelled. She offered me the chance to change my booking with a 10 percent discount and also offered a £100 per person voucher if a ‘goodwill gesture’,” Hope continued.
“Given the experience, I had already decided that I wanted my money back. The director told me to go to the store where we booked to get our money back.
“That’s exactly what we did and despite the store having no idea of the conversation I had with the director, our refunds were approved and three days later all of our party had received their refunds. I’m glad we’re finally here.” this point, and now we’ve booked another wedding with another company that we’re really looking forward to, but my experience was so stressful I felt I had to share it.”
It is unclear why TUI canceled flights to Costa Rica, which is home to just over five million people.
A company spokesperson said: “We are truly sorry that Ms Woolston and her wedding party have been affected by these changes to our flight schedule. We understand this was a special occasion and the cancellation of her booking is disappointing.
“We have given Ms Woolston a full refund and offered her a goodwill gesture to use on a future TUI holiday. Our team is currently processing affected bookings in order of departure date and they are proactively contacting customers who affected by any changes.”