Grieving Sheffield family's disgust over treatment by travel giant

A grieving daughter from Sheffield has voiced her disgust over her family's treatment by travel giant TUI.

Wednesday, 4th April 2018, 8:34 am
Updated Wednesday, 4th April 2018, 11:16 am
Leslie Martin

Jo Martin and her late father Leslie Martin had booked through the firm to go on a family holiday with their partners to Turkey last October.

Less than a fortnight before they were due to depart, Mr Martin was diagnosed with cancer.

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He was unable to go as he required urgent treatment, but Ms Martin said she was assured by TUI that Mr Martin and his partner Pauline could postpone their holiday as long as they re-booked within six months.

Mr Martin, a retired engineer who lived in Wincobank and had one grandchild, initially appeared to be making a good recovery following surgery but his condition suddenly deteriorated after Christmas and he died on January 24, aged 81.

His daughter contacted TUI to request a refund but was told this would not be possible and his grieving partner would have to find someone else with whom to make the trip, despite her not feeling up to travelling having just lost her companion of 20 years.

Ms Martin claimed she emailed and phoned the company repeatedly but it refused to budge, despite her sending a copy of the death certificate.

TUI even addressed an email to her late father - an error the company blamed on its automated mail generation system but which she said had deepened the family's trauma.

It was only after The Star contacted TUI that a representative contacted Ms Martin to offer to refund the £1,077 cost minus a £100 cancellation fee.

She said she would have accepted this offer at first but after everything the firm had put her through, nothing less than a full refund, an apology and compensation would suffice.

"I'm disgusted by how TUI has behaved, especially given what we've been going through," said Ms Martin.

"When something goes wrong it seems they just wash their hands of it. They don't want to know.

"This isn't just about a refund anymore. It's about the distress they've caused by the way they've treated us after my father died."

A spokeswoman for TUI UK said: "We’re really sorry to hear of this customer’s situation and we would like to offer our wholehearted apologies for how their cancellation request was initially handled.

"We’re grateful that the matter has been brought to our attention for further review and we are in contact with the customer to resolve the situation."