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Your consumer rights when holidays and flights are cancelled

People in Staffordshire booking or having flights and holidays cancelled are being reminded about the importance of knowing their consumer rights.

Doing proper research before booking, taking those essential steps to ensure things run smoothly, and understanding your legal rights if things go wrong are amongst the advice from Trading Standards Officers at Staffordshire County Council.

To help keep holiday shoppers safe, officers are offering the following advice:

  • All travel companies in the UK that sell air holidays and flights are legally required to hold an ATOL licence (Air Travel Organiser's Licence) giving people protection against being stranded or losing their money if the operator stops trading. Make sure the business you are dealing with holds this licence.

  • Make sure you have adequate travel insurance. Shop around for the best price and don’t forget to declare any pre-existing conditions you may suffer from or anything else that may invalidate the insurance.

  • Pay for your holiday using a credit card, as the card company may be jointly liable if things don’t go to plan.

  • Make sure you get all the details of your holiday in writing. If the holiday company advises you of changes to your holiday before you travel, you are legally protected from detriment, including a right to be offered an equal or better deal in the event of your holiday being cancelled. You should respond promptly to any communications sent to you about changes to your holiday.

  • In some circumstances you are entitled to compensation for delayed flights, including free meals, accommodation, and financial compensation. Citizens Advice explain this on their website. Contact your airline if your flights have been delayed for 3 hours or more.

  • Be cautious with last minute deals. Take care not to fall for bogus offers advertised on social media. Do your research, and book directly with the tour operator wherever possible. Never pay using direct bank transfer.

Victoria Wilson, Cabinet Member responsible for Trading Standards at Staffordshire County Council said: “Taking some time to plan carefully and understand your legal rights will help you avoid turning your holiday dreams into nightmares.

“By following some simple advice from our Trading Standards Officers, you can help protect yourself and enjoy the holiday you have booked. Most importantly, we don’t want scammers having their own holidays at our expense. If you see an offer that looks too good to be true, you can be certain it’s a scam. Try to use trusted companies and always do your research before booking.”

People can find out more about their consumer rights on the Citizens Advice website.


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