What's your recourse against travel agencies if a trip tanks?

October 15, 2014

Travelling sometimes entails nasty surprises, like bedbugs or overbooking. The good news is you have recourse against travel agencies if your trip ever tanks. So where should you start?

What's your recourse against travel agencies if a trip tanks?

Enraged by the way things went during your most recent trip? No wonder! You worked hard to pay for that holiday, and now you don’t have any vacation time left to decompress. Console yourself with the thought that you might have recourse against travel agencies who don’t meet their obligations to you.

"This number is no longer in service"

If your travel agency closes or goes bankrupt, you could lose your trip, even if it’s fully paid for.

  • Several Canadian provinces offer protection to consumers, including a refund in the event that the travel agency wasn’t able to provide purchased services.
  • If you buy tickets or a package vacation on the Internet, your only recourse is to turn to the issuer of your credit card for a refund.

When an airline goes out of business

You may also have recourse against travel agencies if an air carrier ceased its operations before your departure date or before your return trip.

  • If that happens, your travel agency has to make other arrangements for you as soon as possible. Otherwise, you’re eligible to receive the same type of compensation as when a travel agency closes — which allows you to be reimbursed for the unused portion of your ticket.
  • You should also check what your travel insurance covers in these kinds of circumstances.

Seek the help of your travel agency

If your long-awaited trip takes place but doesn't live up to your expectations, you can also turn to your travel agency for possible redress.

  • If you aren't happy with some aspect of your vacation – your hotel’s beach is unsuitable for swimming, for example—you can ask your travel agent to arrange a move to a different hotel.
  • This is usually done with the help of the local representative of the wholesaler who organized your trip.

Gather supporting evidence

In a worst-case scenario should you decide to seek financial compensation from your travel agency, collect as much evidence as possible.

  • This could include receipts for all costs incurred by flight delays or overbooking, photos of cockroaches in your room, or photos of the major renovation work that prevented you from sleeping during your stay.
  • Compelling evidence of any type of mishap during your trip will support your case when you’re back home.
  • If your travel agency refuses to compensate you or offers compensation you deem inadequate, you can still take legal action against your travel agent. In other words, there are many ways to recover some of your hard-earned money so that you can reinvest it in your next trip.
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