While most of the people come home relaxed and happy, many out there didn’t have a perfect holiday experience. And it’s not a once in a while case; a survey shows 6 out of 10 fall victim to holiday sickness.
If you’ve ever suffered from an injury or sickness, you know how irritating it is to be in pain when you’re supposed to be on holiday. You could be entitled to holiday compensation from the agent or the hotel (in case of direct bookings).
So, let’s introduce you to the process of holiday compensation claim.
If you booked the package through a UK tour operator, it is likely that the trip will be covered by The Package Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tours Regulations 1992. And according to this, your tour operator is responsible for all the different parts of your package – the transport, accommodation, and food while on holiday.
To make a claim, you have to prove that contaminated food you ate in the hotel was the cause of your illness. However, if you purchased additional food not included in the price or from outside eateries, you may find yourself in an awkward situation.
Witnesses or proof of others within the hotel suffering from the same illness at that time can be useful, and a medical report is recommended.
By the way, let the operator or agent know as soon as you come to know of a problem. If you don’t give them the chance to rectify it, you will be on weak ground if you decide to claim compensation later. Be calm and reasonable, and you are more likely to resolve the situation in the early stages.
Food poisoning and Traveller’s Diarrhoea
No matter how many precautions you have taken, you have no idea how quickly can you get food poisoning. In some of the cases, this happens due to having contaminated food or unsafe tap water; resulting in sickness & diarrhea.
Causes of sickness can’t always be blamed on the food – poorly maintained pools and other areas or low level of cleanliness and hygiene can also contribute to that.
i) Salmonella – This is often found in raw poultry.
ii) E. coli – Although most strains of E Coli are completely harmless to the body there are some which are very dangerous
iii) Typhoid – Transmitted through the ingestion of contaminated food or water and contaminated feces.
iv) Cryptosporidium – This parasite is particularly resistant to chlorine disinfectant.
How much compensation can be claimed?
Falling sick while on holiday ruins the trip. But how much can you claim as compensation, doesn’t have a definite answer yet?
It’s obvious that you would have first to prove that the agent or the hotel is at fault. If other travelers have fallen ill because of the same meal, you can use it to base a claim.
The amount you can claim depends on the severity of your illness and not to be confused with personal injury claims.
Other holiday problems
Apart from illness, you are legally entitled to compensation for holiday problems such as loss of value (e.g., lower value services provided), out-of-pocket expenses (e.g., forced to buy alternatives) or loss of enjoyment (e.g., pool closed for the entire duration).
You are also eligible for compensation, refund or alternative arrangement if the flight booked was delayed or canceled. There is no strict rule-of-thumb, however and the resolution can be different for different situations.
A record of how the problems affected you, along with photos and videos, will greatly help claims. Keep receipts for any money you spent because of the problem; and also the names, addresses and phone numbers of other people who can support your case.
Individual travelers and those who planned the holiday without the aid of tour operators may have to face more problems because of different agents involved, i.e., the hotel, the airline, the taxis, etc.
No win No fee
If you don’t want to worry about the upfront legal fees, you can opt for compensation lawyers’ no win no fee agreement. It is also known as Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA),
You are only charged if the lawyer wins the case for you. If you lose the lawyers will not get a fee at all. Well, you might be thinking how they can then, afford to work for nothing? The thing is they charge the clients more than they would otherwise have been paid. The lawyers consider this success fee as a reward for taking the risk of not getting paid at all.
We wish you a stress-free holiday. As you are aware now, of your rights as well as different situations to raise a claim, don’t settle if you feel cheated.