As a traveler, I have come across few times to make travel complaints about travel companies or airlines. I must say, I was satisfied 95% of the time with the customer service I received when booking flights or checking into hotels. However, that negative 5% of the time made me want to call it quits and just go home. Some travel companies are better than others when dealing with customer travel complaints. Here are some tips to make travel complaints, if the need arise.
Travel Complaints: How To Make One?
Deal with the issues while on holiday
Most travelers wait until they arrive home before they making travel complaints. I personally suggest not to wait. It is important that you give the airline, hotel or tour operator an opportunity to resolve your issues while you are at the destination. If you are lucky, you might be upgraded to a deluxe suite. I learned that once you are back from a horrible holiday, what you may get is ‘I apologize for your…‘ from the company, and that is about all. You will probably not get the complaint resolved to your satisfaction either. So it is best to make travel complaints while you are physically there.
Collect evidence of your travel complaints
If you are not satisfied at any time, try and collect evidence. For example, if your hotel room is not clean, take photographs or videos. There are many photo and video apps in smart phones these days. Try to document the issues with dates and names of staff because this will back your case. The more evidence you can give them, the easier it will be for them to resolve your travel complaints.
Read the complaints policy or procedure
Every company and airline should have a complaints procedure or policy. This document guides you as to what you should do to make an official complaint. It should highlight the steps you have to take and how long it will take for them to respond and deal with your issues. Most companies have this information available on their websites.
Write to the head office
Write a letter to the head office detailing your travel complaints. Include all relevant information and attach any evidence. If you have photos or videos, use free online services such as YouTube or Flickr to store these and send the links within the letter. Make sure you include as much information as possible. Keep a copy of all communications. This way you can track the progress of your travel complaints.
Telephone or email contact
I must admit, whenever I phone a company to make a complaint I forget to take the person’s name that I am speaking to. So make sure you don’t forget to ask the name. Also record the times and how many times you have called too. Make a note of what was discussed. If you are sending an email, keep a copy of it for evidence.
So what’s next…?
Hopefully the travel company, hotel or your airline will resolve any travel complaints in a timely manner. If they have not, depending on the severity of the complaint, there are other options you could take.
- The Air Transport Users Council can help you deal with any issues regarding your flight
- ABTA, AITO and TTA can assist you with any issues with travel agents
- Another way to make your voice heard, if the complaint was not resolved properly, is to leave your experiences online. Many travelers do this through websites such as Trip Advisor and Holiday Truths. If you decide to do this, make sure you keep to the facts and don’t include staff names. Just share the type of experience you had with them.
Bottom line, if you were not given services up to the acceptable standards you were promised, take the first step and deal with the issues while you are in it. Don’t wait two weeks to deal with it. The priority of making travel complaints is to make the get the proper service while on holiday. As a paying customer, you have the right to make travel complaints, if you are not satisfied.