Package Holiday Compensation Claims

Published: 13/11/2015

Package Holiday Compensation Claims

If you are not satisfied that your package holiday provider/tour operator has provided you with the holiday that you paid for, then pursuant to the Package Travel Regulations 1992 you have the right to claim for any subsequent loss. The losses can be categorised into the following:

  1. Loss of value (ie. the difference in value between what you booked and what you got): For example – If you booked a twin room with air conditioning and a sea view for the full holiday but were put in double room with no air conditioning or view for the first two nights due to over occupancy then you might be able to claim for two nights loss of accommodation.
  2. Out of pocket expenses: For example – If you had booked transfers from the airport to the hotel as part of the package, but the transfer didn’t turn up to pick you up thus forcing you to make your own travel arrangements to the hotel, you might be able to claim for any reasonable costs you incurred as a result.
  3. Loss of Enjoyment/Distress and Inconvenience: For example – If you were unable to enjoy your holiday because building works were underway outside your hotel, during evenings, and were not disclosed by the tour operator before arriving at the hotel with an offer to , you might be able to claim for loss of enjoyment. However, calculating this loss is difficult and will usually depend on the Judge accepting that the building work would have caused a material loss of enjoyment.

STEP 1 – Letter of Complaint to the Tour Operator

If you believe that you may have a claim, the first step is to write to the package holiday provider/tour operator setting out your claim in as much detail as possible and including evidence (eg. photos) that support your claim. Most companies will have their own complaints procedure which is usually set out in their terms and conditions. It is important that you write to the company in the first instance to give them the opportunity to put things right. If you do not give the package holiday provider/tour operator the opportunity to respond first, there is a good chance that the relevant trade association will not be able to look into your complaint (see below). If however, you complain to the tour operator and they do not respond within 28 days you will be eligible to forward your complaint to the trade association.

STEP 2 – Submit Complaint to the relevant Trade Association (eg. ABTA or AITO)

The majority of package holiday providers are members of either ABTA or AITO, who set a code of conduct which must be followed by their members. If you are not satisfied with any direct response received from the tour operator or if the tour operator does not respond to your complaint within 28 days then you can ask the relevant trade association to review your complaint. If the trade association finds that their member has broken the code of conduct, they can be fined and the trade association can also make legally binding decisions to resolve the complaint.

Please note that AITO charge consumers £110 to use their dispute resolution service, whilst ABTA do not charge a fee. There are also usually time limits associated with complaining to the trade association so you should check the relevant body’s website for further details.

STEP 3 – Make a claim to Court

We would recommend seeking legal advice before commencing Court proceedings.

If you are still not satisfied with the outcome of your complaint and/or if you are so advised by a legal professional you may opt to issue court proceedings against your tour operator (as long as they are still trading). It is likely that most packaged holiday claims will be suitable for the small claims court, where you can claim up to a value of £10,000. You will be required to pay a Court fee of £485, which you may be able to recover from the tour operator in the event that your claim is successful.

Content correct at time of publication

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