EXCLUSIVE Parents have been left with miserable children and hundreds of pounds out of pocket after they had to cancel trips to Lapland UK in Ascot, Berkshire due to positive Covid tests
Image: Abby Bowley)
Gutted kids have been unable to meet Father Christmas due to coronavirus, while their parents have been left massively out of pocket.
At the top of the wish-list for many families this year is a trip to Lapland UK, a Christmas adventure in Ascot, Berkshire.
The festively-themed experience receives hundreds of rave reviews for the lengths staff and organisers go to to immerse young and old in a woodland-based wonderland.
Kids are therefore understandably gutted when they’re unable to meet the elves, huskies and Father Christmas – because they’re on Covid lockdown.
Abby Bowley has found herself in that position this week thanks to two positive tests for herself and her husband.
The mum-of-two is particularly gutted because she’s been unable to rebook her trip to Lapland UK, nor receive a refund, she claims.
As a result she says she’s been left £611 out of pocket.
The only way she can get her money back is if she finds someone else to take her tickets – something difficult to do at the last minute, which she thinks the company should do for her.
Otherwise, the IT worker has to grab the slot of another family who’ve cancelled their plans on Lapland UK’s website – but none have come up since Abby’s started checking.
The mum is concerned that the strict no-refund policy of the event will lead desperate parents to come to the attraction despite knowing that they have Covid.
“The thing that leaves such a bad taste in the mouth is the way they’ve disregarded the situation,” the Portsmouth woman told The Mirror.
“They wouldn’t need to lose out. Someone else will snap up our tickets.
“I don’t even want to go now. I feel so saddened by it. My children are devastated. We had splashed out because last year was a washout.
“For them, Father Christmas doesn’t do that. This was their Christmas present.
“Now we have to get them another present. It is probably the last year that my ten-year-old will believe.
“That’s why it is so important for us to go.”
She added: “With no Covid cancellation policy could Lapland UK be a breeding ground for Covid?”
Laura found herself in a similar position at the beginning of December, when her daughter tested positive the day before they were due to go.
“They will do nothing to help me,” the Glaswegian said.
“They won’t refund me and they won’t change my booking as I don’t have ticket plan insurance.
“We were supposed to go last year and it got cancelled due to Covid restrictions and we thought it would be as simple this time, but no.
“Absolutely no compassion shown for an 8-year- old with Covid who now can’t get to Lapland.
“Imagine her disappointment.”
She added: “It makes me sick to my stomach.”
In an email to Abby Lapland UK told her that it was unable to defer bookings to 2022.
“Having the functionality to issue credit notes or defer bookings as a standard is certainly on our roadmap for future years,” it read.
Lapland UK has been contacted for comment.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.