A man who booked a surprise holiday for his wife has been left £2,300 out of pocket after she was diagnosed with cancer.

Colin Newman spent £7,670 on a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Las Vegas for his wife Caroline Newman's £50th birthday.

But, just 10 days after he booked it, Caroline was diagnosed with stage two breast cancer after taking part in an under-50s screening trial and needed immediate surgery and radiotherapy.

Virgin Holidays have now charged the family a £2,300 cancellation fee despite the difficult circumstances.

Mr Newman told the Yorkshire Evening Post: "It's awful.

"Caroline got the diagnosis, which was a terrible shock, and then I had to tell her I had secretly booked a holiday of a lifetime, but because she has breast cancer we can't go.

"I couldn't believe it when Virgin Holidays said they couldn't do anything but charge me 30 per cent. What gets me is their lack of compassion.

"Virgin Holidays said because they really cared they would assist the family in claiming the amount back on our holiday insurance, but they wouldn't be refunding us."

Colin had booked the couple on "upper class" seats on a Virgin Atlantic flights from Manchester to Las Vegas on the 12 April, the day before his wife's 50th.

According to the Daily Mail, he had planned for them to be picked up from the airport in a Limousine, which would then take them to their king suite at the Encore at Wynn resort.

Colin had saved up for months, and even called Caroline's work and booked time off for her without her knowing.

He added: "When I had to break the news, it was a case of 'This is what you could have had, but you have cancer, so we're not going'. It was like that moment on Bullseye when they say 'here's what you could have won'."

A spokesman for Virgin Holidays said: "Virgin Holidays does not look to profit from the cancellation of holidays and our policies are clearly explained in our booking conditions.

"In the unfortunate instances where a cancellation is unavoidable, we urge customers to contact their insurer as they can often reclaim cancellation charges from them."


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