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Elderly couple ‘banned’ from travel company after £25,000 holiday went wrong

Elderly couple ‘banned’ from travel company after £25,000 holiday went wrong

The couple spent thousands on the trip of a lifetime.

An elderly couple claim they have been banned from their local Flight Centre store after they spent tens of thousands of pounds on the trip of a lifetime.

Mary Johnson, 79, and Cliff Johnson, 81, from Australia, booked three tours visiting Canada, the US and Turkey this year, spending a total of around $47,000AUD (£24,600).

However, they were mortified when two of their trips, worth $26,000AUD (£13,000) were cancelled, leaving them scrambling to find alternative accommodation while abroad.

The couple claim they have now been effectively banned from the travel company they booked the trips with, after they spent months fighting for a refund on the cancelled tours.

Flight Centre said they had informed the couple that the trips they chose were 'non guaranteed departures' meaning they were 'accepting the risk of the tour being cancelled by the tour company'.

The couple had two of their trips cancelled.

However, Mary and Cliff say they were never informed of this and wouldn't have even booked the trips if they had known.

While the couple claim the whole experience has caused them a great deal of stress, they were particularly hurt by an email from their local Flight Centre, stating that they would no longer be able to visit their store for future bookings.

An email obtained by reads: "We feel it's best for all parties that you use the credit at a different Flight Centre so unfortunately the team at Tweed will be unable to help any future bookings.

The couple claim they have now been effectively banned from Flight Centre.
Mary and Cliff Johnson

"I will be more than happy to recommend another store to you though."

Following the email, the company say the 'ban' was a result of a 'miscommunication' between the store and the couple.

"The area leader spoke to Mary directly and apologised if they believed this to be the case," general manager Brent Novak explained.

"A consultant from Tweed City also made contact to offer their assistance when they are ready to make their next booking.

The couple had a US tour cancelled.

"We have ensured out of pocket expenses have been paid. We have contacted the Johnsons directly and apologised for the actions of the local Tweed City team member, introduced a new agent from the same store to look after them and we have ensured any out of pocket expenses were returned and covered."

Brent added that Mary and Cliff had also been given a gesture of goodwill payment to make up for the issues they have faced.

Tyla has also reached out to Flight Centre for comment.

Featured Image Credit: Mary and Cliff /

Topics: Travel, News