Tomorrowland Winter ticket-holders given ‘corona-vouchers’ and could face 18-month wait for cash refunds

SunWeb, the travel company in partnership with Tomorrowland, is offering thousands of people who bought its package trip to the Winter electronic music festival a credit note instead of a cash refund.

If fans decide not to use the “corona-voucher”, they will be issued a full refund, but could have to wait more than a year for the money, SunWeb said in an email to customers on Friday.

“Refund requests will only be accepted as from November 1, 2020,” it added. “This will be deposited, at the latest, three months after you reach out to us.”

However, the company said if customers did not get in touch within a year of their “corona-voucher” being issued they would get an automatic cash refund but could be waiting up to 18 months.

The move could further frustrate customers who have been grappling with a lack of clarity from SunWeb, which had initially promised a full refund on the package, which included accommodation in French ski resort Alpe D’Huez, by March 31.

The Zurich-based travel company had told ticket holders it would process refunds before that date, prompting dozens of fans to take to social media to complain about the delay.

Read:How coronavirus forced hundreds of thousands of electronic music fans to miss out on two huge raves

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On Friday, however, SunWeb said revelers would no longer receive a cash refund and instead would be offered a credit note valid for at least 12 months redeemable against any SunWeb travel holidays, including Tomorrowland Winter 2021.

The credit note can be used for travel to one of SunWeb’s several European ski destinations, or to book tickets to Tomorrowland Winter 2021, if it goes ahead. But many customers had spent up to $5,000 and some have told MarketWatch that they cannot wait for a refund.

“I have told them we cannot accept the voucher, I really want my money back ASAP,” one said.

Thousands of events across the world have been canceled in recent weeks as countries adhere to strict government restrictions to control the spread of the coronavirus.

Tomorrowland’s main event in the summer was also canceled but the festival immediately announced it would transfer tickets to the following year.

Read:A summer without music? The show must go on for musicians despite coronavirus cancellations

SunWeb is a member of ABTA, which represents 12,000 travel agents across the U.K and has been calling for a temporary change in European law to allow travel companies to issue credit instead of refunds.

At present, canceled package holidays must be refunded in cash within 14 days.

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The lack of certainty over when the cash from SunWeb might arrive has disappointed some customers who had planned on the refund to make alternative plans.

“In these challenging times, we had to make some difficult decisions,” it said in the email, “we hope that with these options we have an acceptable solution for every traveler.”

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