Two Albury residents have been left wondering where their money has gone after their overseas holiday was derailed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dianne Crichton and Dennis McLeod have been hit with a combined total of $2800 in cancellation fees after the Budapest to Amsterdam river cruise they booked in January was unable to go ahead in May.
The pair said they each incurred $1400 fees by tour operator Travelmarvel, part of the APT Travel Group, to go towards "unrecoverable costs."
Ms Crichton said they had been offered a future trip at the same value for a two-year period, but no refund.
"They said they can't release where the cancellation fees are going," she said.
"They've offered a future trip at the same value, but as the years go on there'll be added expenses as every year things go up in price.
"Never in our wildest dreams did we think COVID would hit and stop us travelling."
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Mr McLeod said he wanted to know the reason behind the costs.
"They won't come to the party and tell us what it actually is in a breakdown," he said.
In a statement, Travelmarvel said the credits were decided upon due to the "exceptional impact" COVID-19 was having on the industry.
"Travelmarvel has offered impacted guests a future holiday credit for the full value of what was paid, with our business absorbing all incurred costs, which is over and above our usual terms and conditions.
"In addition, the credit offered is valid until the end of 2022, available to use with any of our brands and to any destination globally.
"For those guests preferring a refund, the amount is less irrecoverable third-party costs and overheads as outlined in our standard terms and conditions."
The pair have reached out to consumer advocate Adam Glezer, who started the group Travel Industry Issues - The Need For Change For Australians.
"What Dianne is experiencing at the moment is happening to a lot of people and it's an issue that has to be addressed immediately," Mr Glezer said.
"I'd advise all customers in a similar position to Dianne to consult with the latest ACCC best practice guide.
"It clearly states that, upon request, a company should itemise exactly where the customers money has gone when charging any fees."