Travel firms could be withholding more than £1 billion due to customers in refunds for holidays affected by the coronavirus crisis, consumer watchdog Which? has said.
Which? estimates more than £8 billion worth of package holidays have been cancelled since the start of the pandemic, at least £1 billion it believes is still with travel firms.
The watchdog has called on government to outline how it will support travel through the rest of the pandemic, and to introduce a "travel guarantee fund" to help package providers that are struggling to fulfil their refund obligations to customers.
A Which? survey of more than 7,500 people who have had packages cancelled found that more than one in five (21%) requests for package refunds were outstanding as of the start of October.
In total, 9.4 million people are estimated to have had a package holiday cancelled since the pandemic reached the UK in March, leaving firms unable to cope with the refund backlog.