Travel platform Lastminute.com is facing legal action from the UK competition watchdog unless it repays customers whose package holidays have been cancelled due to the pandemic.
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) warned the firm that it will take court action unless Lastminute processes the repayments – totalling £1m – within seven days.
On 1 December, the CMA announced that Lastminute had formally agreed to pay more than £7m to around 9,000 customers after holidays were cancelled due to the Covid-19 crisis.
However Lastminute still owes more than £1m to 2,600 customers despite committing to refunding all affected consumers by 31 January.
Alongside that delay, the company has also failed to repay all customers entitled to a refund within 14 days of their package holiday being cancelled on or after 3 December 2020.
Lastminute told some package holiday customers to go directly to their airline to get the cost of their flight back, which is in breach of its commitments and against its obligations under the Package Travel Regulations.
The firm must also ensure that customers who book their package holidays from now on will receive a full refund within 14 days if their trip is cancelled in order to avoid court action.
Andrea Coscelli, chief executive of the CMA, said: “It is wholly unacceptable that thousands of Lastminute.com customers are still waiting for full refunds for package holidays despite the commitments the company signed with us.
“We take breaches of commitments extremely seriously. If Lastminute.com does not comply with the law and pay people their outstanding refunds quickly, we will take the company to court.”