ABTA – looking after customers in good times and bad

Monday 3, May 2010


ABTA – looking after customers in good times and bad


Over the last two weeks ABTA has been providing advice and assistance to thousands of customers whose flights had been cancelled because of the cloud of volcanic ash. Throughout the month over 61,000 customers accessed to look at the FAQs and other essential information explaining customer rights.



In addition ABTA sent out 30 updates to its members and conducted 86 television and radio interviews helping to ensure customers knew their rights and had the most up to date information.


Dispute resolution is another key ABTA customer service and from May 1 ABTA is formalising changes to its arbitration scheme which will help customers and ABTA members resolve their differences without having to pay legal or court costs. Customers will still have access to ABTA's independent arbitration scheme for intractable problems, but ABTA has been trialling a pre-arbitration notice which has resulted in a substantial increase in the proportion of disputes resolved without the need to go to arbitration, this will now become a key part of the dispute solving process.


Mark Tanzer ABTA Chief Executive said "The volcanic ash cloud showed the real value of booking with an ABTA member and the great emphasis we place on looking after the British travelling public. Our arbitration scheme is an essential part of our customer service and has provided an independent, good value and efficient dispute resolution service for 30 years and we are justly proud of it. We are constantly looking for ways to improve the scheme and arbitration should only be used after all other avenues have been exhausted. The pre-arbitration notice will ensure that many more customers achieve a happy outcome without needing to take this final step"


Customers will also have 12 months from the end of their holiday to enter into arbitration, an increase of 3 months on the current time limit allowing greater flexibility and access to the scheme.


Arbitration is offered to consumers as an alternative to the Small Claims Court with a turn around of no more than 8 weeks and often significantly lower costs than the courts. Since 2001 there has been no increase in arbitration fees. From May 1, fees both to consumers and ABTA Members will be raised to cover the costs of administering the scheme.




Bookmark and Share


^ back to top


Find the best deals available today

The grey menu on the right is your best friend. Always check before you travel.

Plan your trips with the help of great resources

More and more travellers think that researching and planning a European city break is half the fun and they're not interested in pre-arranged trips or escorted tours. Self-guided tours offer a lot of advantages but require some guidance and good resources.


Clean, green and very pristine

Top 10 most environmentally pure countries

With the recent wild fires, disrupting flights and increasing air pollution, environmental quality is a growing factor in attracting tourists.



Top 15 most spectacular hotel rooftop views

The hotel price comparison site has put together a list of the fifteen most spectacular hotel rooftop terraces in the world.

Latest offers, discounts and more...

Accor “3=2 offer”
Why not extend your stay? 3 nights for the price of 2.
Columbus Direct travel insurance
Quality cover at low prices to customers all around the world.
Priority pass
Access VIP lounges no matter where which airline and class you fly.
European City Cards
See more and pay less! Get your "passport" to European cities.
Rail Europe
Comfortable and affordable on European trains.
Lonely Planet Magazine
Packed with insider knowledge, hints and tips.
Sandemans New Europe City Tours
Free walking tours in 13 cities within 9 countries.
Sol Melia Wednesdays
Search your exclusive special offers now for the coming weekend!
Low-cost shuttle and private transfers in over 70 countries.
IMEX Frankfurt 25-27 May
The essential worldwide exhibition for incentive travel, meetings and events.
Subscribe to Travelio News Summary via RSS Follow our news titles on Twitter Become a fan of on Facebook Bookmark and Share