We know you want your clients to have the smoothest and most enjoyable holidays, but what if they don’t go quite as planned? A disastrous flight, a stinky hotel, even a deadly swimming pool — expect them or not, they could happen.
Paul McClorry, head of travel litigation at Hudgell Solicitors, a litigation practice that represents more than 10,000 clients a year, has provided some advice:
If you experience an issue with your hotel
“Whether it’s injury, illness, a dangerously dirty pool or something else at your hotel that hasn’t met expectations, ensure any complaint or accident is reported with the hotel, as well as your tour operator representative, if applicable. Remember to take photos of any issues for evidence, and speak to people who might also have been affected by the same issue and take down their contact details, should you need them in the future.
“It’s also worth notifying your travel insurance provider to see if any issues experienced are covered under your policy.”
If you experience a problem with your airline
“Should your holiday get off to the worst possible start and you get injured on your flight, or even in the airport itself, your airline is strictly liable under the Montreal Convention. This could be anything from having a hot drink poured on you or tripping over something that shouldn’t be there to unknowingly consuming food you are allergic to. If the injury is significant enough to cause pain, financial loss or requires rehabilitative care, you may be eligible to make a personal injury claim.
“Flight delays and cancellations can also create holiday hell. If your flight is delayed by at least three hours or cancelled altogether, you are often entitled to compensation up to GBP 530 (USD 675). Again, it’s worthwhile contacting your travel insurer as some expenses may be covered.”
If your holiday is ruined by an injury
“Dealing with an injury can be traumatic at the best of times, but even worse if you’re on holiday. If the worst does happen and you are admitted to hospital while abroad, it’s important to notify the nearest embassy as soon as possible so they can contact your family or loved ones if needed.
“After your injury, remember to write down what happened in as much detail as you can, as well as take photos of the scene of the incident if possible. Obtain a copy of the doctor’s medical report as well as any receipts for accident-related expenses, including medical expenses. This will all be required if you decide to pursue a claim.”
If you’re unsure what to do when you get home
“Speak to a specialist lawyer. If you have had a bad experience on holiday and are unsure what to do next, a specialist solicitor will be able to provide you with the best advice on the next steps to take.”