Press Release Issued By
West Yorkshire Trading
 Standards Services

 

 

 

PROTECT YOUR HOLIDAY

A holiday can be a time of excitement or a time for relaxation. However, it can also be expensive and it is important to make sure that your well earned break is not a disappointment. West Yorkshire Trading Standards are advising consumers to take a few simple precautions when booking holidays.

Make sure that you use travel agents and tour operators who are members of trade associations using a code of conduct. Look out, especially, for the logos of ABTA (Association of British Travel Agents) and AITO (Association of Independent Tour Operators) on advertisements and brochures.

Since 1992 all package travel tour operators are required to be bonded or have a secure scheme for protecting customers payments. If a tour operator ceases trading you should then get your money back. Another useful way to protect your holiday payment is to pay by credit card. Should the holiday turn into a disaster you can claim against the credit card company as well as the tour operator.

It is advisable to take out travel insurance, although it is not a legal requirement. Some holiday companies make it a condition of booking a holiday that consumers take out insurance through the tour operator. Where this is imposed before booking the holiday you cannot opt out. However, a travel agency cannot make a price discount on a package holiday conditional on buying travel insurance. Always shop around for travel insurance but ensure that the policy covers such issues as cancellation of the holiday, illness and injury, loss or theft of belongings, and delayed or missed flights.

What should you do if you have a problem during your holiday? First, take the matter up with the tour operators representative at the resort. It is always best to make a written complaint about what has happened. If things are not put right at the resort write to the tour operatorís head office when you return home. You will have a right to claim compensation if, for example, the accommodation or facilities were of poor quality, or they did not match the description in the brochure. If the company fails to sort out the complaint you have a right to take action through the small claims track of your local county court.

As an alternative to legal action you could contact ABTA if the tour operator is a member. Sean Tipton of ABTA said " We are a well established regulatory body and we maintain a strict Code of Conduct. We offer an arbitration scheme which is handled by independent arbitrators."

Martin Wood Chief Officer of West Yorkshire Trading Standards said " Consumers should always be cautious when booking holidays. Ensure that all of the terms and conditions are read and understood before entering into a contract. If consumers are concerned about this or any other issue then they should contact the West Yorkshire Consumer Helpline on 01133 848 848, or log on to the website www.adviceline.org.uk or call the minicom on 0113 289 8265."

 

For further information please contact

David Lodge Principal Trading Standards Officer 0113 289 8243

Paul Cooper Divisional Manager 0113 289 8240

Graham Hebblethwaite Divisional Manager/ General Media Contact 0113 289 8218