A READING-BASED travel agency has been accused of failing to refund - or communicate - with customers during the coronavirus pandemic.

A number of complaints have been made against TravelUp, which customers say has been ignoring attempts to get in touch to sort out flights that had been booked before lockdown.

As a result the travel agents has issued an apology for 'falling short of expectations'.

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Talking to The Chronicle about TravelUp, based in Calleva Park, Aldermaston, one customer said: "They are not refunding customers their airline tickets despite revisiting the refund from the relevant airline.

"They changed their T&Cs as Covid-19 developed to charge a customer a fee for refunds, which they haven’t been doing, and they have closed all telephone contact.

"They are also not replying to emails.

"A Facebook group has been launched where more than 1,400 members have been sharing their experiences and financial despair in this desperate times."

Reading Chronicle:

Zodiac House, where the company is based

On social media, scores of complaints about not being able to get through to speak to someone from the company have flooded in since March.

On May 12, one customer tweeted: "Travelup are refusing to speak to their customers and refusing to refund money for flights/holidays.

"No communication from them."

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On Facebook, Jo Foy commented in March: "I'm due to fly to USA tomorrow. Phone lines have been switched off - I'd rather be on hold for hours than not even have a chance to speak to someone - very very frustrating."

Around the same time, Cris Lombardi said: "I'm trying to change my coronavirus flight, but you don't answer my emails and the phones aren't working.

"My first experience with you is horrible."

A spokesman from TravelUp said: "We understand that on occasions during this global pandemic we may have fallen short of the expected service levels our customers have experienced historically and for this we apologise.

"Our team has been significantly reduced and the remaining team members have been working extremely hard to service as many customer as possible in the most efficient way possible.

"However, restrictions that have been put in place by airlines to hinder the smooth return of refunds, vouchers and credit notes has compacted the issues faced by our team and in turn our customers.

"I would like to thank the majority of customer that have been more than supportive in this difficult time."