A BRIT family who ended up as “refugees” as their ski trip was axed after just ONE HOUR on the slopes still haven’t got their full refund from Love Holiday two years later.
Jakki Webb, 49, has been fighting to get her £2,000 back for almost two years after they travelled to Bansko, Bulgaria, for their skiing trip in March 2020 – which went horribly wrong.
Jakki (right) and her family still haven’t had a full refund for the skiing holiday – nearly TWO YEARS later
The family were thrown into emergency accommodation after just one hour on the slopes in Bansko, Bulgaria
Jakki, who lost her job in the hospitality industry during the pandemic, said that she’s tried everything to get Love Holiday to refund her the money – but 22 months later her pleas still go on deaf ears.
The family, from Biggin Hill in Kent, checked into their hotel in March 2020 and did one hour of skiing – before being told the resort was closed because of the looming lockdown.
Jakki and her partner Darren Bashford, 51, along with their sons Adam, James, and their girlfriends, were into thrown chaos as their family holiday was suddenly cut short.
The 49-year-old told The Sun Online: “We went up the mountain on our first morning and we had an hour of skiing, and then they literally closed down the resort.
“We went back to the hotel, and we were told we had to get out. I told them ‘What are you talking about, we’ve got nowhere to go.'”
They were able to stay for another night before the crisis unfurled and they were whisked out of the hotel with all their belongings.
The following morning, they were taken to a car park at the bottom of the slope with 300 other people – who had all been booted out of their accommodation.
Before long, a worker from the British embassy spoke to the Brits caught up in the chaos, including Jakki and her family, who told them they were now REFUGEES.
It took another 12 hours before they were moved to emergency accommodation – which was a closed-down hotel surrounded by armed guards and padlocked from the outside.
Speaking about the ordeal, Jakki said: “They arranged for us to go to a closed-down hotel. There was no staff and no food. We had a room and a bathroom, but that was about it.
“They had put padlocks on the main doors, so we couldn’t get out. They gave us baguettes twice a day and a bottle of water.
“We stayed there from Tuesday until Saturday, and we had to pay another £700 to get flights home as ours had been cancelled.
“We tried to make the most out of it, but it was a nightmare.”
Amid the confusion, Jakki was also worried as she was in charge of looking after the boys’ partners, including Megan Thompson, who was 17 at the time.
Love Holiday have partially refunded the family £959 for the package holiday after being contacted by The Sun – but the company say won’t refund their repatriation.
The family decided to go to Bansko for their skiing holiday because it was the first place they went after the death of their son five years ago.
Jakki spread her late son’s ashes on the top of one of the mountains at the resort – so the family were keen to go and relive the good times in his memory.
But the holiday soon descended into disarray – and they weren’t able to go and visit the site which reminded them of their beloved son.
The mum added: “My eldest son died in December five years ago, and before he died as a Christmas present we booked a skiing trip for the following January.
“We went in the January along with nine of his friends, and we were at the top of the mountain where there was a cross.
Jakki and her partner Darren, with sons Adam and JamesCredit: Jakki Webb
Nearly two years on, the 49-year-old has not got her full refund back from the ‘nightmare’ package holiday
“We scattered some of his ashes there. And then when we took the boys back in 2020 to have a good time, it was just the complete opposite.
“We were going to go back up to where we scattered his ashes, but we didn’t even get a chance to.”
Jakki and the family were finally escorted to the airport – but had to wait for 12 hours without food or drink as the onset of the pandemic forced everything shut.
But nearly two years on, the 49-year-old has not got her full refund from the package holiday.
She has tried to contact Love Holidays repeatedly ever since – but is always hit with automated messages, robot chats online, or letters in the post saying they would look into it but never do.
Jakki added: “I’ve done everything to try and get my money back. I’ve rung them, I’ve emailed them.
“I first tried 10 days after the trip in March 2020. Because it’s nearly two years, they told me I’m now ‘too late.’ They’ve had my money for two years, and they’re refusing to pay me back.”
Despite the ordeal, Jakki said that she and her boys would love to go back to the resort as it has a special place in the family’s hearts.
A Love Holidays spokesperson said: “We would like to apologise for any inconvenience caused to Ms Webb, in relation to her ski holiday to Bulgaria just as the pandemic broke in March 2020.
“We sympathise with the situation Ms Webb and her party experienced as part of the emergency local repatriation measures put in place by Bulgarian authorities.
“We have spoken to Ms Webb and apologised for the delay in resolving this matter.
“We previously provided a full refund on unused return flights and as a gesture of good will, will be offering a full refund of the unused accommodation and transfer costs.
“Unfortunately we are unable to cover the additional costs of repatriation flights.
“We always recommend our customers purchase appropriate travel insurance prior to travel to protect themselves in unforeseen circumstances.”