Tour Operators

Understanding Tour Operators

Thousands of holiday goers each year will book their holiday through a tour operator. The primary purpose of a tour operator is to plan and book the holiday for the customer entirely. This will mean booking transport, accommodation and other perks.

Package holidays are a great way to book everything together at one time.

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These types of holidays may typically include the following:

  • Flights
  • Airport Transfers
  • Accommodation
  • Excursions
  • Food and Drink

Plus many more! Package holidays can be tailored to include the benefits you will use whilst on holiday.

It is easy to get confused as to whether tour operators and travel agents are the same. The critical difference is that the tour operator creates the package whereas the travel agent sells them.

Package travel is becoming increasingly popular within the travel market. Tour operators create packages for those that don’t have time to do a “DIY” holiday and find the deals for transport and accommodation themselves.

They also specialise in connecting travellers with niche holidays that aren’t readily available online.

Popular tour operators in the UK include the following:

With so many services available purchasing packages from a tour operator couldn’t be easier. Many come with different perks and incentives at competitive prices. However, it is no secret that a holiday may not always go to plan. If this happens, there are steps you can take to make up for the loss of enjoyment from an issue with your holiday.

Travel agents and tour operators in the UK all come under the ABTA; The Association Of British Travel Agents. The ABTA aims to raise standards within
the travel industry and help support customers when things go wrong. Holidays are expensive, so of course, when things go wrong, it can be frustrating.

Let’s look further into what actions can be taken to remedy a bad holiday.

Not happy with your holiday? Contact the holiday complaints ombudsman
If you feel that a holiday package was falsely advertised or mis-sold to you, then you could be in your right to make a complaint.

The first step would be to understand who you should address your claim to.

If you booked with a travel agent directly, then you should write to them and follow their specific complaints process. However, if you are complaining about a package holiday the travel agent was reselling then your complaint would be with the tour operator.

Holiday claims can be a complicated process, so it is essential to be aware of the steps involved to ensure your complaint is handled effectively. It can be a long process to get compensation from a tour operator for a holiday package. The process is long and requires a lot of persistence.

Don’t be put off if they don’t act on your complaint how you wanted them to.

If it gets to the stage where your persistence still doesn’t get you the results you think you deserve then you could take your case to a small claims court. The small claims court will act on most breach of contract claims and provide you with the support you need.

However, it is important to note there is a limit to what you can reclaim. In England and Wales, you can claim up to £10,000 to compensate for your holiday.

The ABTA has a great online complaints hub which can help also. If the tour operator you have booked with is a member of the ABTA, then you are in your rights to make a complaint through this service.

The complaints hub will ask you to provide in-depth details of your complaint alongside booking confirmation and evidence of previous discussions with the travel company.

You should try to resolve complaints first with the provider before taking it to higher sources.

The ABTA has an arbitration service also which can be used if there has been a breach of contract and a form of negligence.

You can claim up to £1500 per person if there’s a case of holiday illness or personal injury within your complaint.

You may want to claim ATOL. ATOL certificates come with all holidays that include flights. This certificate protects you if the flight company you are
travelling with goes bust. Therefore compensating you for ensuring you do not get stranded abroad. To make a complaint you will need to visit the civil aviation authority CAA website and download their form.

The ombudsman service or better known as the alternative dispute resolution (ADR) would typically deal with complaints and take your claims further.

For other claims as a consumer, you can submit a complaint form and take further action to try and get your case resolved. However, there isn’t a specific ombudsman service to help resolve complaints about holiday and travel. Therefore it is important to pursue the options outlined above and be persistent in your claim process.

Overall it is about knowing your rights as a traveller and who to complain to if you have a problem with your holiday. Alongside complaining, you may be within your rights to claim compensation.

Holiday Compensation Claims
If your holiday didn’t go as planned, then you might be entitled to claim back compensation from the holiday provider. If there is an issue whilst you are on holiday, it is important to act quickly. That way it can be resolved promptly, and you might get a greater compensation payout. Many problems can occur whilst on holiday which could result in you being entitled to claim compensation.

If you are dissatisfied with the accommodation provided, then you are within your right to claim compensation from the travel provider. When making your complaint, you should include supporting evidence that outlines the issues you are faced with.

If your flight is delayed, you may also be able to claim compensation. The travel company has a responsibility to look after the consumer if this happens and provide adequate solutions. Many factors go into making a complaint about flight delays. Such as what customers are entitled to, how long the delay was, whose fault it is to name a few. You will need to claim through the airline travelling with. If you get no luck, then your next port of call would be escalating the issue to the CAA.

Personal injury and illness can have a huge impact on your holiday. But did you know that you are entitled to holiday compensation if the hotel is to blame? It 0s about determining if the holiday company has some responsibility. Did you slip by a pool with no sign, or get food poisoning from the all-inclusive resort? If so these are just a few examples of how you can claim back compensation for holiday sickness and injury. Many online resources can help you claim back the compensation you deserve.

Don’t let things that have gone wrong on holiday have an impact on the large price you paid. If you paid for a holiday, you are entitled to enjoy the holiday that was advertised. Similar to making a complaint persistent with the compensation process also.

Be sure to provide enough supporting evidence, take photos and keep a record to strengthen your case further.

Remember some services can help you throughout the claims process. Remember your rights as a customer and what you are entitled to.

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