Holiday Compensation Claims
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Holiday Claims
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How to Make a Holiday Complaint

HolidayCompensationClaims aims to help holidaymakers that were ill on holiday or that have had accidents abroad to claim the compensation that you deserve.

We realise however, that many people simply want to know how to complain to a tour operator about facilities promised in the brochure not being available or general quality issues such as poor cleaning, broken facilities or disruptive hotel building work.

hotel holiday watch

If your holiday complaint relates to a misrepresentation of your hotel or resort and the cost of your holiday was above £2,000, it would be worthwhile seeking legal advice.

If your claim has good prospects of success then the true value of your claim may include a full or partial refund of the holiday, any out of pocket expenses as well as further compensation for loss of holiday enjoyment. When travel companies deal with holidaymakers direct, they rely on their lack of specialist knowledge and tend to offer less than the legal entitlement, often in the form of vouchers.

If you have had an accident or illness on a package holiday we suggest that you contact us for legal advice as soon as possible.

Get in touch for a chat about how we can help you by filling in our quick, no obligation enquiry form and we will call you back or you can call us directly on 0808 145 1353.

If your holiday complaint concerns minor issues likely to be of limited value, making a direct complaint may be a good option.

Below is an example letter of complaint to your travel company for things that may have gone wrong with your holiday. The letter is intended as a guide for structuring a letter of complaint.

Top Ten Tips When Writing a Holiday Complain Letter

When writing a letter, we recommend that you consider the following:

  1. Read through the tour operator booking conditions to check their complaint process.
  2. Write to the managing director of the tour operator - if you can get their name, all the better.
  3. Open your letter by saying that you want compensation for a ruined holiday – be fair and avoid be greedy.
  4. Give full details of the holiday including the names of those that travelled, booking reference, holiday departure date/ resort destination etc.
  5. List all of your complaints with headings such as 'Hotel Health and Safety Issues', 'Building Work Problems' or 'Poor Rep Service etc.
  6. Give details about what happened including how the problem affected you and what you did to complain. If you did not complain or were unable to, you should give reasons.
  7. State how much holiday compensation you want and be realistic about the amount you are claiming.
  8. Be honest. If you exaggerate one thing, the person on the other end of the complaint may think that everything else has been exaggerated.
  9. Remember that if you complained during the holiday, the holiday rep and hotel staff may have their own reports.
  10. State what you are going to do if you do not receive the compensation you are looking for. By threatening to take matters further, it may put pressure on them to resolve the complaint.

Example Standard Complaint Letter

For the Attention of the Managing Director of [Insert Name of Holiday Company Here]

Dear Sir

I am claiming the compensation I am entitled to for my ruined holiday to [resort and hotel name]. I travelled out on [insert date] from [departure airport] under booking reference [insert booking reference]. The people on the booking were [insert names].

My entitlement to claim compensation arises out of the Package Travel, Package Holiday and Package Tour Regulations 1992.

A list of my complaints is as follows:

Building Work at my Hotel that you Should have Informed me About

On the morning of my arrival I noticed construction work taking place about [insert distance] from our apartment. Work consisted of [insert concerns such as dust and noise disturbance/ machinery being used such as diggers, jackhammers, drilling etc.]

I attempted to locate our rep to complain about the work but was unable to find her. I called the emergency number to request a change of hotels and was informed that somebody would meet us at 4.00 pm that day.

I met the representative at that time but was told that the resort was full so we had to put up with the disturbance for the remainder of the holiday. We did not have enough money to move to an alternative hotel.

Problems with the Buffet Restaurant.

We booked and budgeted for an all-inclusive hotel because we had heard horrendous reports about people contracting food poisoning at the local restaurants that had not been properly safety checked. Your rep even told us not to risk eating out.

However, the service we received was appalling [insert concerns here – extensive queues at the buffet/ food running out quickly/ the same food being served for lunch and dinner etc.]

We also felt there were significant concerns about the hygiene at the hotel buffet [insert concerns here – birds pecking away at the buffet food/ raw chicken being served at the hotel barbeque/ hot food served lukewarm etc.]

It is a wonder that none of us ended up with food poisoning at the hotel. Obviously the whole experience had a negative effect on our holiday and we did not really enjoy our food.

Advertised Facilities not Available

The description of the hotel on your website promised a range of restaurants including a Mexican, Chinese and Fish restaurant. When we asked about these restaurants at the hotel reception, we were informed that the Mexican and Chinese Restaurants were closed and that the fish restaurant was fully booked for the duration of our stay.

Also, the children's pool was out of action for the duration of the second week of our holiday with no explanation. When we complained to our rep, all she did was tell us to use the shallow end of the adult pool.

Compensation Claimed

I understand that my family and I are entitled to compensation for loss of enjoyment from the holiday and a refund of a proportion of the holiday that was ruined. The holiday was not a total write off because we were able to relax a little. However, we were all bitterly disappointed with our experience.

For loss of enjoyment, we feel that we should be entitled to £30.00 per person per day for each date for the 7 nights that my family of 3 were present for which comes to £630.00.

For loss of value from the holiday more than half the holiday was ruined but for the sake of a quick resolution, we will accept a fifty per cent refund of the cost of the holiday which comes to £750.00.

If I do not hear from you within 28 days with a cheque to the value of £1380.00 we will take this matter further through ABTA or the small claims court.

I look forward to hearing from you. Yours faithfully

[Insert name and address/ telephone number/ email address here]

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Author: © 2014

Dated: 24/03/2014

Holiday Claims Litigation Manager Paul Stevens