5-minute guide to making a complaint about your holiday

1. Is my holiday protected?

The Package Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tour Regulations 1992 cover the package holiday. Your holiday is deemed a package when you have booked at least two of the following; accommodation, transport, other significant tourist services. Your contract is with the tour operator and not the agent. However, should you specifically ask the agent to act on your behalf and s/he says that s/he has carried out a specific booking request and hasn’t done so, then your claim for this is against the agent.

2. Your holiday must be as described

Brochure and online descriptions form part of your legal contract and must be factually accurate. So if you booked a holiday at a hotel described as close to the sea and it’s actually a drive away or that there is a play area for children and there isn’t, etc - then you can claim.

3. Complain at the time

If you're unhappy with the accommodation ask at the time to be moved before putting your complaint in writing later. If you don’t do this the company will say that it wasn’t that bad or you would have asked to have been moved. It may also be in their terms and conditions that you inform a representative at the time of any complaints.

Take photographic and video evidence to prove your case

4. Get evidence to back up your case

Take photographic and video evidence to prove your case against the tour operator which you can use when you put your complaint in writing when you get home. Be clear succinct and state exactly what you want as redress and what you will do if you don’t get this - for example, take legal action.

5. How much compensation?

Under the Regulations you can claim for loss of value between what you booked and what you got (out-of-pocket expenses, loss of enjoyment, inconvenience or disappointment). This is subjective, so be reasonable and logical in your complaint.

Thanks to Helen Dewdney aka The Complaining Cow for sharing these tips.

  • Read our 10 ways to hack your hotel room here. Plus where to take your pooch on holiday here!