Lastminute.com has paid out refunds to thousands of customers whose holidays were cancelled because of Covid-19 two weeks after it was threatened with court action by the competition watchdog.
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said that the online travel agent had paid back a further £1 million to package holiday customers who were still waiting for refunds.
However, approximately £300,000 worth of refunds still remain outstanding as Lastminute.com does not have the bank details of these customers.
CMA chief executive Andrea Coscelli said: “We encourage customers who are still awaiting refunds for package holidays cancelled because of the pandemic to contact Lastminute.com. A dedicated contact form will be published on Lastminute.com’s website later today.”
Lastminute.com had in November promised the watchdog to refund customers by the end of January at the latest.
However two weeks ago around 2,600 customers were still owed money by the company, prompting warnings of legal action from the CMA.
Lastminute.com in part blamed the delay on Ryanair, an accusation that the airline dismissed as “false claims”.
The refunds apply only to package travel holidays and not to flight or hotel only bookings.
Mr Coscelli said: “Lastminute.com has now paid back a further £1 million in outstanding refunds to thousands of customers whose package holidays were cancelled, in line with the commitments that it gave to the CMA.
“This follows the CMA’s formal warning that it would take Lastminute.com to court if it failed to refund customers, as promised.
“This means that in total, Lastminute.com has issued over £7 million in refunds due to action taken by the CMA. Any money outstanding is now owed to customers whose bank details Lastminute.com does not hold.
“Lastminute.com has agreed to contact customers who have not yet received their money back.”
It means that Lastminute.com has now paid back more than £40 million to customers who have been affected.
The travel agent has in the past apologised to customers who were left waiting for their refunds.