A long-haul tour operator is risking the wrath of social media after applying a surcharge on 20 or so of its customers' holidays, with Brexit said to be to blame.
We did wonder how the EU Referendum result, specifically the fall in the value of the pound, would impact the industry, and two months after the vote, some operators appear to be feeling the pinch.
Jasmine Holidays said it was left with no choice but to apply a surcharge to the holidays of a select number of its customers, as it is within its rights to do.
"I started the business eight years ago and we're now a small team who work really hard to put together great trips for our customers," the firm's director, Phil Hodges, told The Telegraph Travel.
"Sadly, we've had to surcharge a few customers because of the drop in sterling after Brexit," he confirmed.
The value of sterling was hit after the UK voted to leave the EU, with £1 worth around €1.15 this week (15 August) compared to €1.30 in June.
Tour operators are allowed by law to apply a surcharge if the cost of a package has risen by more than a specified percentage due to currency fluctuations, rising fuel costs or higher taxes, although this must be stated in the booking terms and conditions and must be triggered no less than 30 days before departure.
One traveller who wouldn't disclose his name to The Telegraph reporter revealed he had been asked for £370 from Jasmine Holiday for a safari honeymoon to Kenya and Zanzibar. He said the company cut it fine to notify him of the surcharge, which he managed to negotiate down to £190.
The customer made the details of the email known to the newspaper. It read: "In the fallout of the EU referendum result and the subsequent fall in sterling, it is with much regret that I am sending you the attached, regarding your upcoming trip to Africa.
"I appreciate this will not be welcome news, but in the light of the decline in the currency following the referendum result we are unfortunately required to increase the cost of your trip.
"The surcharge amount is £185 per person, which is detailed in the attached. I can guarantee that there will be no further surcharges and it is already with much reluctance that we are having to increase our costs in these circumstances."
Hodges said, however, that any customers affected by a surcharge would be offered an equivalent discount off a future trip.
The offer of discount might prove to be a very smart move indeed – especially with social media in mind, when one tweet can lead to hundreds or thousands of unwelcome retweets.
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