Residents of Istanbul, who took advantage of early booking deals and bought package tours for June 23, have put off their vacation plans to go to the ballot box for the rerun of the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality mayor elections.
Turkish Travel Agencies Association (TÜRSAB) Chairman Firuz Bağlıkaya said following the announcement of Turkey's Supreme Election Council (YSK) for a renewed mayoral election for Istanbul on June 23, travel agencies were facing requests from citizens to change or cancel early bookings.
"Around 90 percent of the people who made vacation plans for June 23 through travel agencies want to change the dates of their reservations," he confirmed.
However, the number of cancellations is low, the TÜRSAB chair said. "We have, by and large, received demands to change the dates for tours in June," he added.
Bağlıkaya recommended that citizens who purchase tour packages early also purchase travel insurance, which allows customers to cancel their vacations three days before they are set to leave and receive full refunds.
According to regulations for package tours, customers who purchase a package tour can receive refunds without penalties - excluding taxes and other expenditures ensuing from legal requirements - provided they submit a request for cancellatio
n 30 days prior to the date of the tour. If the notification is submitted after the 30-day period, a predetermined amount specified in the contract might be cut from the refund. Therefore, customers who bought package tours for June 23 and want to vote in the Istanbul mayoral elections still have 15 days to adjust their plans.
Following the YSK announcement, Turkish carrier Pegasus Airlines also announced that it will offer free rescheduling or refunds for passengers who bought tickets before May 6 for flights on June 23.