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The Association of Travel Agents

Jim:Our guest today is Duncan White who is President of the Association of Travel Agents. During the programme we’ll talk to him about the Association, his role in it, and most importantly what it can do for you but our first caller, Mrs Hopkins of Manchester, is on the line. Mrs Hopkins...

Mrs Hopkins: Hello Jim. Nice to talk to you. Thank you for giving me a chance to appear on your show.

Jim: That’s all right my dear, how can we help you? What’s your problem?

Mrs Hopkins: Well, my husband and I booked this holiday in Corfu through a local travel agent. That was in May. Now, what we wanted was a quiet little hotel near the beach for the kids, you see we’ve got two little ones aged three and four and so this travel agent recommended the Hotel Solara which looked just like what we wanted in the brochure...

Jim: And what was the Hotel Solara like?

Mrs Hopkins: Well, that’s just it! We never stayed there. When we arrived at the airport we were met by the tour representative who was very nice and apologetic but she said she was taking us to another hotel ‘cos the Solara was booked up. Well, you know how it is with two kids on a night flight so we just went along with it but in the morning when we had a chance to look around, it just wasn’t what we wanted.

Jim: Why was that?

Mrs Hopkins: Well, the hotel was more expensive, and very modern and all that but it was one of those really big hotels with hundreds of tourists and not a bit personal. Just like a factory really, and it was miles from the beach, well at least it was a lot further than the Solara and it was very noisy at night. These groups’d come back from the bar singing, the kids’d wake up, not a hotel for a family at all. Anyway, we complained several times but they wouldn’t move us, so we ended up coming home early and we even had to pay extra for the flight. It was really disappointing and I think we ought to get our money back...

Jim: Well, Duncan, what do you think?

Duncan: Yes, Mrs Hopkins, a most unfortunate experience and I’m sorry to hear that your holiday was spoiled. Can I ask you a few more details? Firstly, is your travel agent a member of the Association of Travel Agents?

Mrs Hopkins: Oh, I don’t know, they’re quite a big firm in Manchester...

Duncan: Sounds as though they might be. Now, have you been back to them?

Mrs Hopkins: Well, no, ‘cos we complained to the representative in Corfu and that didn’t

seem to get us anywhere and we didn’t see the point...

Duncan: Right, first find out if your travel agent is a member of our Association. You see, all our members have promised to do all they can to avoid overbooking but they can’t guarantee that some hotels will not be overbooked by the hotel management. If overbooking is discovered before you leave they must offer you another holiday which is at least as good, if there is one, or your money back immediately. If however overbooking is discovered after you leave, tour operators must find you somewhere else to stay. They must also return some of your money if the hotel facilities and location are of a lower standard than booked. Now, in your case it seems that the hotel you were sent to was of a higher standard although it wasn’t what you wanted. I think you should go to the travel agent you bought the holiday from and talk it through with him. You may find him very sympathetic. If your complaint is not settled, and your agent is one of our members, our Association would be willing to look into it if you sent us full details. We’ll give you the address later. Unfortunately, if the tour operator is not one of us you’re unlikely to get anything... but go and have a word with the agent first.

Jim: Thanks for calling, Mrs Hopkins.


(from Success at First Certificate, by R.O’Neill, L.Arthur, S.Menne, R.Nolasco)




Lesson B

Date: 2015-12-17; view: 873

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