Hi, Just wondering if anyone knows if there is an official body or regulator or licening authority for Tour Operators (as opposed to Travel Agents).
Also would anyone know - is there some legal or regulatory difference between being a Tour Operator and a Travel Agent ?
I am having to make a complaint against a Tour Operator (The Travel Department) and when I have spoken to them they keep stressing that they are not a Travel Agents, but a Tour Operators, and I am just wondering why this is.
Thanks for any advice.
Moved to Travel
You may have to inform them that you will take your complaint to the Small Claims Court (Fee €15), if you feel you have been dealt with unfairly.
Both operators and agents are both regulated by the commission for aviation regulation in Ireland (http://www.aviationreg.ie). The travel department hold both a agent and tour operator license, so it depends on what you booked with them which you will be covered under. If you are going to ring them ask for someone in Travel Trade. Also it depends on the complaint if you are covered or not but it can't hurt to ask, and they will put you on the right track.
Thanks very much for that useful information. I will do that.
I had booked a once in a lifetime trip - a tour to China with The Travel Department due to depart last Wednesday. And due to the snow delays the first flight from Dublin to London Heathrow was delayed, and our group missed the connecting flight from Heathrow to Beijing.
Now at that point I would have expected The Travel Department, Aer Lingus and British Airways to get together and sort something out to try and re-book us on the next available flight to get to Beijing. But instead we were told everything was cancelled and to come home
I thought that where the journey had already started and a connection was missed the airlines and tour operator had a responsibility to us. But they all just blamed each other and fobbed us off.
So we ended up with our Christmas holidays ruined
try the itta
Before you start you need to figure out if you booked a tour, as in it was sold to a number of people, or was it a self package, as in made specifically for your group. If it was self package it will happen under the agent license, if it was a package they run it will be under the tour op license. I would start with the commission and move onto the ITTA (although they have no real power to enforce anything as they are just a trade group but getting them involved might help) I assume you are trying to get a refund? Just get all your paperwork together and if you paid by credit card contact them and attempt to cancel the payment, that is usually the easiest and quickest way. If you have insurance (probably with blue) make the claim there. With the flight issues they are all going to blame each other but your only claim is with the Travel Department as they sold you the holiday, don't let them get you involved with the airlines, that is their problem to deal with.
Best of luck
Thanks very much. Yes I won't give up. And I am hoping that if I can get a refund, then I might be able to find another company who could put the trip back together before the visas expire.