Danielle Quinnin, a “disgusted” mother of three who fell victim to the recent bankruptcy of the Thomas Cook travel company claims Virgin Holidays is trying to take advantage of the company’s desperate customers and has since hiked up prices of Disney World trips by over 600%. In her claim, she says a trip once priced at £3,000 is now upwards of £22,000 ($3,708.43USD to $27,195.15USD).
Quinnin says she booked her trip to Walt Disney World for her and her family last year for roughly £6,000. However, the trip had been canceled Monday due to the Thomas Cook company’s liquidation. As the 26-year-old attempted to search for alternate Disney World deals she says she found a similar but less-inclusive two-week trip for £3,174 with Virgin Holidays.
At the time, Danielle wasn’t ready to book the trip, but knowing it was time-sensitive she came back to the site about two hours later–and when she did she says her and her husband were “disgusted.” Upon viewing the same exact offering she had just seen only a few hours prior for a little over £3,000, the price had skyrocketed to £22,276.
Mrs. Quinnin claims the incredible increase by Virgin Holidays is because the company is trying to “make money from desperate people” who have all lost their flights to Orlando on account of Thomas Cook’s liquidation. Virgin Holidays has since denied Quinnin’s accusations and has said that the prices are only increasing on account of high booking volumes and limited availability.
Regardless of the reasoning for the incredible price increase, it leaves the Quinnins without hope for their dreams of a trip to Disney World. “I couldn’t believe it. We’ve had our holiday to Florida booked for a year. It cost just under £6,000 originally,” said Danielle. ‘It’s crazy. I feel like Virgin is jumping on this [Thomas Cook’s liquidation] and using it as an opportunity to make as much as possible.”
Danielle continued: “It’s disgusting that Virgin thinks they can make money because people are desperate.” The mother of three says she was saving for the trip for the past 12 months, even booking a place for her son Vinnie before he was born.
“We had booked to stay on-site with Disney, Disney transport, our park tickets through Thomas Cook. Everything. We got up and saw they’d gone into liquidation. I realized there wasn’t a lot we could do,” said Danielle.
Danielle says other holiday travel sites have crashed as others affected by the liquidation try to resettle their vacation plans.
Upon coming to the realization the family was no longer going to be able to make it to Disney World for their vacation, Danielle and her husband decided to break the news to their three children.
“The children were absolutely devastated but understood there’s nothing else we can do so we just can’t go,” said Danielle. “Eva, my eldest, just kept saying ‘don’t worry Mam, we can go another time’. It’s awful. You have to book your fast passes 60 days before you go and that actually worked out to be on Monday for us.”
The family was so saddened, they decided to take to the internet to immerse themselves in the magic of the parks from home. “We spent all day on Sunday watching videos of what rides we’d book our fast passes for, then on Monday morning we couldn’t even do it,” said Danielle.
Since the news of the Quinnins battle with travel prices surging, a Virgin Holidays spokesperson has commented on the incident saying:
“As a result of this being brought to our attention, Virgin Holidays investigated the price anomaly and we can confirm that this was an exceptionally busy day for customer sales and enquiries.
As a result, unfortunately the economy flight options which were available very quickly sold out, meaning that customers searching for this particular holiday package, will have been automatically offered upper class flight availability.
We do appreciate the distress that the closure of Thomas Cook has had not only on staff, but also on holidaymakers. We are confident in the work that our teams are doing with our suppliers around the world to offer the best possible price, as well as our customer service teams, who are working with thousands of customers to help them fulfill their holiday plans.
We would encourage any customers who discover a pricing anomaly, such as this, to contact the Virgin Holidays team who will work with them directly to help them fulfill their holiday requirements.”
Source: Daily Mail