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Woman devastated as life-time trip to China called off a week before departure

PUBLISHED: 14:30 01 March 2016

Devi Banarjee with her unpacked suit cases was meant to fly to China today

Devi Banarjee with her unpacked suit cases was meant to fly to China today

Archant

A woman who thought she was going on the “trip of a lifetime” to China felt devastated after her holiday was cancelled just a week before departure.

Devi Banerjee, 64, of Hornchurch, had been preparing for her 25 day all-inclusive trip since July and was looking forward to boarding the aircraft
today.

But travel agency Mercury Holidays, based in Kent, called her on Monday to cancel the trip because she was the only person booked to go.

Last Monday, Mrs Banerjee called the travel agency, which confirmed it would send her tickets within a week. But instead she received a call telling her she would not be able to go.

“They must have know for a long time about this, and if they had told me, I could have booked a holiday somewhere else,” she said.

“I told all my family and friends, I got the visa for two years 
and packed my bag and everything.”

Mercury Holidays’ sales and reservations manager Tasha Mardell said: “I apologised profusely to Mrs Banerjee for having to cancel her booking a week before she is due to travel. It was due to an administrative error that Mrs Banerjee wasn’t contacted earlier.”

A keen traveller, Mrs Banerjee told the Recorder she and her late husband had wanted to go to China for years but he died suddenly six years ago 
without having had the chance to go.

“This holiday was really important to me,” she said.

Mrs Banerjee paid out nearly £3,000 for the holiday package, visas, insurance and injections and Mercury Holidays has pledged to refund all the costs associated to her trip.

It also offered to change the dates of Mrs Banerjee’s journey and give her a £200 voucher for any holiday package, but said it would not offer extra compensation despite the trip being cancelled “at such short notice”.

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