If your holiday didn't go as planned or you experienced problems, new robust compensation regulations mean you could well be liable to recompense from the tour operator. Your right to claim will to a large degree revolve around the nature of the package; for example were you taken to the resort and was accommodation provided or was it arranged by you?
Claiming for package holidays
You could have a strong claim for compensation had the holiday package you received proved to be of a noticeably lower value from the holiday originally purchased; you paid for a suite and received standard accommodation for example. This difference is value means you can claim compensation for your loss, as well as any ‘out-of-pocket expenses’ such as the cost of accommodation elsewhere.
It is also possible to claim due to a clause named 'loss of enjoyment'; in effect is you holiday was distressful or objectively disappointing you have good cause for compensation. Claims like this would normally centre around facilities like the pool being closed for the whole trip. It is only in a very rare circumstance the cost of the full holiday is refunded - proof would have to exist of the holiday being a total disaster.
It is a very rare circumstance in which the complete cost of the holiday is refunded. Only if the holiday was entirely different and of a discernable lesser value would a complete refund be made.
When can't I claim compensation?
That fact that you didn't enjoy the holiday or didn't have a good time or experienced a problem that was not the tour operator's responsibility, like bad weather you will not be able to claim. Also, if you have already received some form of restitution for a complaint i.e. by the hotel or airline, the matter will be considered as closed.
Was your flight cancelled?
If your scheduled flight is cancelled or delayed, your tour operator must give you a full refund or provide you with another suitable flight. Your tour information should provide you with full details of what you should receive as part of your package holiday, this includes flights. If you do not get the full service as promised the contract can be considered breached and you are entitled to compensation.
What happens if the airline ceases trading?
Provided that you have not travelled; if the airline that you are due to fly with ceases trading and providing your holiday is ATOL protected, you will get a full refund. On the other hand, should the airline fold during your holiday, you can complete your holiday and the cost of your return flights will be paid through ATOL. Problems arise if you are using a firm not ATOL bonded, in effect, this means that you must pursue a compensation claim yourself.
Claiming for holidays arranged yourself
Although not impossible, attempting to secure compensation for a self-organised holiday is far from easy. Individual claims need to be made against different aspects of the holiday, flights, accommodation, transfers etc. An overseas holiday will necessary involve foreign companies in foreign jurisdictions. You will be subject to these laws and not those of the UK - as you can imagine this might lead to difficulties.
Seeking compensation from holidays arranged by yourself is far more difficult than raising a claim against a tour operator.
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