If you have travelled to or stayed in or around the Gulf Coast, Florida, between September 2010 to September 2011, be advised that we have received holiday complaints from other holidaymakers. Those holidaymakers are now receiving Free Advice & Assistance from HolidayTravelWatch.
If you have a holiday complaint to make, and would like to receive assistance to deal with your travel problems, please contact HolidayTravelWatch as soon as possible.
Please note we DO NOT represent that problems exist in or around the Gulf Coast, Florida, either before the said period, during the said period or following this period. If you have any concerns, then you should direct them to your tour operator, they should advise you further.
General Holiday Complaints Advices:
If your holiday complaint involves any holiday sickness, please ensure that you speak with your GP and provide a stool sample as quickly as possible. If you experience difficulty in providing your test, then you should speak to your local Environmental Health Officer without delay.
If you are requested to provide access to your medical notes and records by the tour operator – DO NOT give your consent to such an action, unless you have received advices on this issue!
If you have been involved in any accident abroad, it is very important that you seek early legal advices; limitation dates abroad are variable and advices received will help you to secure any rights you may have in that jurisdiction, or against any travel operator under The Package Travel Regulations.
Exposure to Fumes or other Toxins:
If your complaint involves an allegation of exposure to fumes or toxins, then in the first instance you must seek urgent medical assistance. It is important in all fume or oil exposure cases that you record all medical issues from the initial point of that exposure and maintain that record throughout your illness. You should also maintain regular contact with your medical advisor and seek assessment and treatment. As many exposure complaints occur within aircraft or on cruise ships, you should remember that shorter limitation periods may apply; note that the same warning can apply to exposure from a foreign hotel! In all cases you should seek early advices either from us or another independent source.
Child Protection Issues:
Regrettably we cannot always protect our children when we are abroad. If your complaint involves child protection issues, then you should in the first instance report the matter to the local police in the resort, the security officer onboard a ship or the senior officer onboard an aircraft. In the case of ships and aircraft you should insist that the local police at the next port of call are contacted. Keep a record of all events, people you have spoken to, what was said, what was offered, actions taken, whilst you are on holiday and when you return to the UK. If you discover the child protection issue when you return to the UK, then you should report the matter immediately to your local police – they should investigate and very likely contact the local police where the incident occurred.In any event the matter should be reported upon your return to the UK. You should also inform the tour operator or travel provider – you can do this by simply stating your complaint – advise them that you have reported the matter to the police. Do not provide evidence to the tour operator without first speaking with the police. Remember, the travel industry are taking important steps to deal with this issue, however, you should not defer to the tour company’s representatives without checking with the police first! You should not allow anybody, other than a trained child protection officer to interview or speak with your child.Your child should be spoken to by a trained police officer in the first instance; counselling as a first port of call should be treated with caution.Taking the counselling route potentially threatens contamination of the evidence that may be provided by your child. If your child has already received counselling, that counsellor does not enjoy the protection of privilege of their information/evidence. We recognise that these are potentially difficult issues and if in doubt or if you are concerned by any issue, you should either contact us or seek other independent advices.
Alleged ‘Agent’, ‘DIY’ or ‘Dynamically Packaged Holidays:
There is a real threat to the consumer rights contained within the Package Travel Regulations. Travel companies are seeking ways to evade their responsibilities, by creating so-called ‘new online business models’. A growing number of holidaymakers are opting to book their holidays online. When problems occur within these holiday contracts, many holidaymakers discover that their travel provider claims that they were only acting as an ‘agent’ and that any complaints must be addressed to the hotelier, Cruise Company or airline directly. This presents serious problems for any holidaymaker, not least of which is the prospect of pursuing their claims in a foreign jurisdiction and defining any limitation periods. You must not assume that the travel company providing this information is correct, there are many factors at play and you may benefit from the protections provided by the Package Travel Regulations. You can only be certain of your position by either contacting us or seeking other independent advices!
Dealing with a Travel Company:
If you are encouraged to correspond with the Tour Operators Solicitor, DO NOT DO SO unless you have received advice on this issue!
Do not accept any offer to settle your claim without first talking to us or to a specialist travel lawyer – do not bank any cheque or accept any voucher – you may compromise your right to be properly compensated.
What to do next:
If you have been affected by any holiday complaints, and you would like further assistance, then you should contact HolidayTravelWatch, or speak with a Solicitor, details of which can be obtained from The Law Society.
Please note if you have any limitation concerns or are subject to a pressing court order, you should seek urgent assistance from a Solicitor, you should not wait to speak with HolidayTravelWatch.
6 October 2011
If you have been affected by any of the issues raised here, no matter what your destination, then please contact us at HolidayTravelWatch.
For further details on our services, read our Legal Notice.