Daughter billed for late mother's cancelled trip

A grieving daughter from Bath has been hit with a £1,200 hotel bill for a holiday in Devon that her late mother never took.

The Hotel Riviera in Sidmouth is attempting to reclaim the sum from the estate of the dead woman, but has agreed to waiver the fee if her daughter withdraws complaints from travel websites such as Trip Advisor, according to BBC News.
Anthea Shaw planned to visit Devon in June as a "final holiday" after she was diagnosed with cancer.

Her family picked the Hotel Riviera after a recommendation from a friend and paid a deposit of £150 for a five day booking.

Anthea, a retired florist, was due to visit from June 22 to 27, but when she died on May 31, her daughter Rebecca Wagstaffe contacted the hotel to let them know the room would not be needed.

According to the Sidmouth Herald, Mrs Wagstaffe said she was upfront about her mother's condition and did her utmost to keep the hotel up to date when she deteriorated. She expected the deposit to be returned without issue after her mother's death – but instead received an invoice for £1,266.67 from the hotel's solicitor this week.

Demand for payment
The BBC reports that the letter ordered her to pay "full cancellation fees," stating they could proceed with recovery action if the money was not paid within 14 days.

They wrote that they would cancel the demand and refund the £150 deposit dependent on her "withdrawing entries and complaints such as to (travel review website) Trip Advisor".

Yet a hotel spokesman told the Sidmouth Herald: "The hotel has no intention of pursuing the matter in these very sad circumstances and is in fact offering a refund of the deposit paid."

Mrs Wagstaffe is now seeking an apology and compensation after she had to take time off work to deal with the issue. She told the BBC: ""In the memory of my mother I will continue to fight them until I get an apology because this is unacceptable."

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Daughter billed for late mother's cancelled trip

If you are a victim of a strike, or any other event beyond the airline's control (including ash clouds!), they must offer you a refund (in which case it's up to you to find a way home) or an alternative flight. While you are waiting for the flight you have the right to food and refreshment and accommodation.

If you are on a package holiday, your tour operator is entirely responsible for looking after you until you get back to the UK.

This is more likely to happen due to the financial crisis, but in some situations you are covered. 

If you pay by credit card and it's over £100, you'll get a refund from the card company. 

Your travel insurance may well cover you too, but check before you go.  

Talk to the airline, and if it is temporarily misplaced they should arrange for it to be sent to your accommodation, and you should be either given cash to cover the essentials in the interim.

If it's completely lost you must wait 21 days and then make a claim for compensation. If you are travelling as part of a package you can claim costs from your operator.

If you are travelling within the EU you need an EHIC card, which gives you access to public healthcare. However, this won't necessarily be free, and if you need extra services such as accommodation for a carer, a helicopter home or a delayed flight, you could end up seriously out of pocket.

The only protection that will guarantee you will be looked after without running up a horrendous debt is by having travel insurance - which often covers up to £10 million of costs.

The most common form of theft is pick-pocketing, followed by theft from a car and bag snatching. Meanwhile, 752,000 of those surveyed had items stolen from their hotel room or villa.

If you have anything stolen, your only protection is insurance. You need to tell the local police immediately and get a crime reference for your travel insurer.

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