Debate Rages As Tourist Says Vacation Home Canceled for Ukrainian Refugees

A holiday-maker has vented their frustration after the cottage they'd booked for their vacation was supposedly canceled so the host could house Ukrainian refugees instead.

The vacationer shared their situation to Mumsnet, under username DuvetHugger, revealing they'd booked a trip this June in Scotland.

Despite reserving the pet-friendly accommodation, they claim they were put out when the host contacted them out of the blue recently to say they can no longer honor the booking.

The would-be tourist wrote: "We have booked tickets for a big gig taking place there and are traveling from south of the U.K.

"I just received this email from them: 'We have applied to use the barn for Ukrainian refugees, if it's not a problem for you can you please cancel free of charge.'

"I replied saying we have booked some activities etc and is she sure the place won't be available at that time, we booked eight months ago and her response was: 'No you need to book something else sorry.' AIBU in thinking this is rude?? Obviously, I have nothing against them housing refugees but I am a bit taken aback."

They sought advice about whether they were entitled to feel anger over their "first world problems" when there are "families to house"

DuvetHugger added: "Surely she would see a diary of full bookings and think 'I am not yet in a position to use the barn to house others, but will stop taking bookings now to enable myself to do so at a later date?'"

According to data from The Operational Data Portal (ODP), since February 24, over 4.2 million Ukrainians have fled the country. The majority have traveled to Poland, figures show, with 2.4 million crossing the border.

ODP noted: "They are in need of protection and support. In light of the emergency and the scale of humanitarian needs of refugees from Ukraine, an inter-agency regional refugee response is being carried out, in support of the efforts of refugee-hosting countries."

The chart below, provided by Statista, shows the distribution of Ukrainian refugees, as of March 29.

Infographic: Almost Four Million Seeking Refuge from Russian Invasion | Statista You will find more infographics at Statista

The post, shared on Monday, has amassed more than 350 responses, and can be read here.

In the comments, the user claimed they'd booked the accommodation through website Dog Friendly Cottages, paying £600 ($789) for three nights. And they clarified they were irked with being canceled on at short notice, rather than the decision to house refugees from war-torn Ukraine.

They said: "I think some posters are jumping to conclusions. I am not saying she shouldn't rent out to refugees, I just think it is poor form to not give you an option, and also make you cancel the booking. Suspicious.

"To be honest, I don't believe for one second she is going to be housing refugees. She is still taking bookings (I just checked), and why would she cancel everyone before it has even been confirmed that she can house refugees?"

People shared their opinions in the comments, as Stuntbubbles wrote: "She's gone about it a bit rudely but honestly, let this go. The atrocities coming to light every day are horrific and this is very much a non-problem in comparison."

The atrocities coming to light every day are horrific and this is very much a non-problem in comparison

Whatalovelydaffodil thought: "Can't really blame her for the wanting to house refugees rather than holiday makers. Although I can see why it's annoying for you."

DoucheCanoe said: "YANBU. Of course housing refugees is a very kind thing to do BUT if everywhere just canceled bookings and stopped taking in customers then the tourist industry will take yet another financial hit not to mention the financial and personal inconvenience to those who have booked non-refundable tickets in the area (Hella Mega by any chance?)"

Horcruxe reckoned: "It isn't refugees. She just found someone who will pay more."

BlooberryBiskits advised: "Absolutely don't cancel & contact the company you booked through. She accepted a booking & and should be honoring that. You were totally correct to bring up your costs etc: I would be extremely angry."

TheCountessofFitzdotterel thought: "She's being unreasonable. Doing a good thing is great but not at someone else's expense. Good luck finding somewhere else op."

LardyDee commented: "It's fine and laudable for her to offer the place for refugees. But she must take responsibility for and bear the consequences of that decision, not shuffle it off onto other people. And if you're out of pocket then she needs to compensate you."

DigsDilemma added: "My son had his school residential canceled because the place they were going to is being used to house refugees. He is 10 and has more understanding and compassion than you do."

The U.K. launched their Homes for Ukraine scheme in March, which will see those housing refugees across the country paid £350 ($460) a month by the government, in return for rent-free accommodation for a minimum of six months.

The U.K. government website said: "The Homes for Ukraine scheme will allow individuals, charities, community groups and businesses in the U.K. to bring Ukrainians to safety—including those with no family ties to the U.K.

"Phase One of the scheme will allow sponsors in the U.K. to nominate a named Ukrainian or a named Ukrainian family to stay with them in their home or in a separate property."

Those arriving in the U.K. under the scheme will be granted a three-year stay, and anyone interested will need to record their interest online.

Dog Friendly Cottages told Newsweek they didn't have enough information to comment, but were "dedicated to providing the best possible customer service we can."

File photo of calendar and Ukraine.
File photo of calendar and teddy with Ukraine flag. A tourist has vented their anger after their vacation booking was cancelled to house refugees instead. Animaflora / pimana/Getty Images

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