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I have a holiday problem

If you’re on holiday and there’s a problem the law gives you certain rights. These rights may vary depending on what the problem was and the type of holiday you’ve booked. If you're unsure of what type of holiday you’ve booked, then you can check here for information on the different types of holidays.

You may wish to make a claim if;

  • There was a problem with your room for example a fault with the shower or bathroom facilities or general cleanliness issues.
  • The information you were given about the hotels location or facilities was incorrect.
  • Services you booked weren’t provided for example tours or excursions.
  • You or someone in your party had food poisoning after eating hotel food.
  • The hotel’s pool was closed during your stay.

If you have a problem while on holiday you should report it as soon as possible so that it can be put right, this will usually be with the hotel or individual trader initially. If the trader fails to resolve the problem and you’ve booked a package holiday, then you should contact the holiday company or holiday rep at your resort so that they can attempt to fix the issue. If the issue hasn’t been resolved during your stay, then when you return home you can make a claim to your holiday company for damages (appropriate amount of money).

You may also be entitled to damages if the problem significantly impacted your enjoyment of the holiday.

If you’ve booked a linked travel arrangement or an independent holiday your claim will be against the individual trader that the supplied the service for example the hotel. This could make your claim difficult if the trader is abroad as you may not have the same rights as you would in the UK.

If your pursing a claim against a trader in the EU but not in the UK, then you can ask the European Consumer Centre for advice -

Making a claim

Who you send your claim to depends on what type of holiday was booked. If you’ve booked a package holiday, then your claim should go to the travel company that you booked with but if it was a linked travel arrangement or if it was an independent holiday you will need to send your claim to the individual trader that your complaint is with.  It’s best to send your claim in writing and by signed for mail so that you can check it’s been delivered, although some traders may ask that your claim be submitted online or by email.  

If your complaint is still not resolved to your satisfaction, you should check whether the company is a member of a trade association that you can take your complaint to, for example the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA).

Complaints can be registered on the ABTA website.

Last updated: 02 April 2019

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