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We highlighted how solo travellers are routinely being ripped off... You are not alone! 

Scores of single Money Mail readers have inundated us with complaints about the extra fees they face when travelling.

Last week, we told how solo travellers are being forced to pay twice as much for hotel rooms and cruise cabins as those who are part of a couple.

The travel industry says the so-called 'single supplement' is necessary because one less person will be spending money on extras such as food and drinks. 

‘Totally unfair’: Solo traveller Sue Murgatroyd feels penalised by single supplements

Yet close to 100 of you have now written to us to cry foul over the extra charge. Here are some of your stories . . .

FIRMS FAILING TO PASS ON SAVINGS 

Retired travel agent Sue Murgatroyd, 65, helped to book thousands of holidays for customers when she worked for TUI for ten years.

But, after losing her husband Peter, she was forced to pay what she describes as 'horrendous single supplements'. 

The mother of two, who lives in Bournemouth, was determined to continue travelling after retired retail worker Peter died from a suspected blood clot six years ago, aged 61. Yet, too often, she is met with extra charges.

She says: 'Expecting single people to pay double — or more than double — what someone in a couple would pay is totally unfair.'

Sue claims TUI advertised an all-inclusive holiday in St Lucia for £3,664 per person for a couple — a total of £7,328.

But Sue, who stresses it is usually the hotel that imposes the charge, adds: 'If I wanted to go alone on the same dates, at the same place, my room would cost £7,588 — just for little me.

'If you are a solo traveller, the company is paying for one less seat on a plane, one less person on a transfer, and half the amount of food and drink on an all-inclusive.'

Sue, who worked for TUI when it was formerly known as Thomson, says: 'I've always thought it was unfair, and I thought it was unfair when I was working as a travel agent.

'Single travellers are treated significantly worse than couples and families by the travel industry. If there is a supplement, they shouldn't just double the price, but take off the flights, transfer and food costs as a discount.'

I CAN'T TRAVEL WHEN I WANT

Divorcee Victoria Wright says being single restricts when and where she can go away.

The retired NHS administrator, from Paddock Wood, Kent, loves to go on solo tours — but says Saga, a firm that prides itself on serving older customers, sometimes falls short.

The 71-year-old says: 'Most of the time, the solo trips offered by Saga only have departure dates for unseasonable times of the year.' 

She adds that a ten-day tour to Portugal offers general tours departing between March and September, but the only 'solo departure' date advertised in the Saga Europe and Mediterranean brochure was in February.

'Who wants to go wandering around Portugal in February when everything is out of season and many of the shops and cafes will be closed?'

The single supplement for the tour is relatively small: couples pay £1,549 per person and solo travellers pay £1,699. Victoria adds: 'I wouldn't mind paying £150 or £200 more if I could go at a nicer time of the year.'

While Saga does offer solo booking places for general dates, Victoria says many single people wouldn't feel comfortable on tours where most of the other travellers are couples. A spokesman for Saga says: 'Our current solos departures often take place during off-peak periods as this is when we are able to secure rooms for sole occupancy.'

PENALISED FOR BEING A WIDOW 

Lesley Dell, 53, is determined to take her husband's ashes to the Greek island that meant so much to him — but she will have to pay a £626 single supplement to do so.

Nurse Lesley first stayed in La Piscine Art Hotel on Skiathos five years ago with husband Steve. 

Lesley Dell, 53, is determined to take her husband's ashes to the Greek island that meant so much to him — but she will have to pay a £626 single supplement to do so (file picture) 

It was their first holiday alone since they'd had their two children and they fell in love with the hotel and the island.

The couple vowed to go back to the same place every year — which they did, until last year, when electrician Steve died from cancer on Christmas Eve, aged 45.

Lesley says: 'I promised myself that I'd take his ashes to the places where he was happiest — one of those is Skiathos.'

But, in February, when she went to book a week at the hotel in June, she was told that the £1,600 cost would include a £626 single supplement.

She says: 'I promised myself I would go, so I booked it. But it feels like I am being penalised for being a widow.'

Lesley believes the £626 charge is 'excessive' and adds: 'I just keep thinking: 'Is this what I will have to pay for the next 30 years if I want to go on holiday?' '

WE'RE GIVEN THE 'WORST' ROOMS 

Judy De Haan, 79, feels cruise companies force solo travellers to sleep in the least desirable rooms and expect them to sacrifice their privacy.

The retired PR worker was married to Stanley for 58 years, until he died from a ruptured aorta in 2016, aged 82.

After losing her husband, who was a former craftsman jeweller in London's Hatton Garden, Judy was determined to continue travelling.

But, while mobility problems usually restrict her to cruises, the mother of two is often put off by the location of the single cabins.

'Most of the single cabins are usually inside the ship, near the kitchens or with a restricted view,' says Judy, from Maidenhead, Berkshire. 'I'm 79 and I don't want to share a bath, shower or toilet with anyone.'

PRICING NEEDS TO BE CLEARER

Retired engineer William Cummings, 73, says holiday firms are not clear enough on pricing. 

The great-grandfather, from Peterborough, booked a seven-night all-inclusive cruise on TUI's Marella Explorer. The fly-cruise will take him to Tenerife, Madeira and Morocco.

His wife of 46 years, Margery, who worked as a stockbroker, died last May, shortly after being diagnosed with cancer.

His room had been labelled as a single cabin when he booked, but his £1,009 price still included a £404 supplement.

William says: 'Cruise brochures often include prices which state that they start from £1,000 per person, but often, this is what you'd pay per person as part of a couple.

'It would help if companies were clearer about this when they advertise.'

A spokesman for the trade body ABTA says: 'Hotels have traditionally provided services on the basis of people travelling in pairs, with a limited number of single rooms.

'As hotels charge per room, not the number of people staying in them, solo travellers will pay proportionately higher prices.'

A TUI spokesman says: 'We do offer a small number of hotels that are ideal for solo travellers and which don't provide a single supplement.'

f.parker@dailymail.co.uk 

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