All manner of things can go wrong with arrangements people make. In the case of a holiday, the problem is that consumers have often paid a large sum of money before they have enjoyed the holiday. If something happens which will prevent them from having a holiday at all or will reduce their enjoyment of the holiday, they must have a means of mitigating their losses or receiving compensation where appropriate.
Since there are many people taking flights every day, some of them are bound to encounter problems. If you have cause to complain, you should proceed as follows in order to be sure that you are heard:
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If the tour operator alters some significant aspects of your holiday after you have booked, by either moving you to a different hotel, or drastically altering the times of the flights, they are likely to be in breach of contract. You should either be given a full refund or an option to cancel if you wish. If it is possible to change the booking with the same operator, you should let the operator know that, although this is far from satisfactory, you will try to see how the holiday provided compares with the one you had originally booked. If it turns out to be unsatisfactory, you can complain and seek compensation on your return.
If you experience problems with air travel, where you should address your complaint will depend on whether you have chosen to travel by a charter flight or a scheduled one. With charter flights, the contract is with the tour operator, while in scheduled flights, it is with the airline itself. If your flight is delayed or cancelled, the airline must either offer you an alternative flight or your money back. If you accept the alternative arrangement and are delayed because of this, you are entitled to compensation.
If you are simply not allowed to go on the correct flight because of overbooking, you may be entitled to compensation under the Denied Boarding Compensation EC regulations. The amount awarded will depend on the period of delay and the length of flight. For example, under the regulations, a sum of some £200 may be awarded for a delay of over 4 hours for a flight of over 3,500 km. In addition, you should be compensated for the expense of getting the message to your destination, for any meals and refreshments and any hotel accommodation if there is an overnight delay.