What is a holiday surcharge?

A holiday surchage is an additional fee that your holiday company may ask you to pay after you've booked your holiday.

The surcharge occurs when the cost of a package holiday goes up after you booked because of currency fluctuations (the euro growing stronger against the pound, for instance), rising fuel costs (for flights and cruises) and taxes.

Even if you’ve already paid for your holiday, your tour operator may ask you to pay a surcharge between when you book and when you travel, of up to an extra 10% of the holiday cost.

This is legal – tour operators are allowed to pass on to their customers some increases in their costs.

Surcharges are tightly controlled by law (the Package Travel Regulations). Companies can only surcharge up to 30 days before your departure. They must absorb the first 2% of the holiday cost and state their right to surcharge in their terms and conditions.

ABTA advice

If the surcharge is more than 10% of the total cost of your holiday, the holiday company must offer you the option of cancelling and getting a refund.

If a tour operator’s prices decrease then they need to refund you the amount, if it’s more than 2% of the holiday cost.