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Holiday Claims
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Direct Holidays Complaints

Consumer Advice

Simpson Millar’s Holiday Claims Team handles complaints from holidaymakers who have booked on the Direct Holidays website.

Direct Holidays is a holiday search website operated by Thomas Cook Retail Ltd, which offers everything from flights to all inclusive package holidays.

If you want to make a claim for holiday compensation – whether for illness, accident or because your holiday did not match the brochure or online description – you have to book a package holiday to be protected under the Package Travel Regulations 1992.

Your travel agent or booking agent should issue you with an ATOL Certificate at the time of booking if your holiday is a package.

You and the Law

If you book a package holiday with Direct Holidays and something goes wrong – such as illness or injury, or your holiday is not as described in the brochure or online – you can usually make a 'No Win No Fee' claim for holiday compensation under the Package Travel Regulations 1992.

Time Limits for Direct Holidays Complaints

Under the Package Travel Regulations 1992, you have 3 years in which to make a personal injury claim for holiday illness or injury sustained on a Direct Holidays package.

In the case of children who become ill on holiday, the time limit is 3 years from the age of 18.

Time limits for making a holiday illness claim are rarely extended if you develop further complications as a direct result of illness or injury on a Direct Holidays package.

If you accept a full and final settlement offer as compensation, you may not be able to make a further claim and this is why you should take legal advice from Simpson Millar before you make a claim, to make sure you receive all the compensation you are entitled to.

In cases involving a complaint about the quality of your Direct Holidays package, you have 6 years to start court proceedings for breach of contract or misrepresentation.

How to Deal with Direct Holidays Complaints

Important Notice: If your complaint concerns you or a family member falling ill or sick on holiday because of food poisoning – or you have suffered an accident abroad and wish to complain to Direct Holidays – get some free advice from Simpson Millar before you contact Direct Holidays.

If you have a complaint about a holiday booked with Direct Holidays, you must follow the complaints procedure set out in the company’s Terms & Conditions, you received with your booking confirmation.

It is best to make an initial complaint to your Direct Holidays representative or Direct Holidays customer services in the UK while you are in resort, to give them a chance to put things right.

However, if you were ill or suffered an accident on a Direct Holidays package holiday through no fault of your own – or your complaint was not resolved satisfactorily – it is likely you can make a 'No Win No Fee' claim for holiday compensation against Direct Holidays.

Holiday Compensation Claims
  • When you return home, write to Direct Holidays and state clearly what your complaint is about – and what has happened so far, including the details of any correspondence between you and the Direct Holidays rep at your hotel or Direct Holidays’ customer services and the response you received.
  • Make sure you explain how your family or party was affected by what happened eg if you were ill and the holiday was ruined, state the length of time you were ill and details of the illness and any treatment you received or had to pay for.
  • Listing your complaint as bullet points can make it clearer and easier to read, especially if your complaint involves more than one issue.
  • There is no need to be rude or sound angry in your letter to Direct Holidays – this may make matters worse because if a judge in court has to read it, a rude or sarcastic letter may not reflect well on you and may make you seem unreasonable.
  • Keep copies of all letters and records of documents like receipts for medical expenses or out-of-pocket expenses like taxis.
  • Images and video evidence are hard to deny, so make sure you take photos of poor maintenance or lapses in food hygiene to back up your claim.
  • Be reasonable about the amount of compensation you are seeking – ask Simpson Millar for advice if necessary. Judges are not usually sympathetic to claimants who ask for large sums of compensation in excess of the actual value of their claim.
  • Direct Holidays is a member of ABTA (membership number V6896) and ATOL (ATOL holder number 1179) – if you booked a package holiday, you should have received an ATOL Certificate when you booked.
  • The Direct Holidays website is operated by Thomas Cook Retail Ltd (ABTA membership number J9375) acting as an agent for Thomas Cook Tour Operations Ltd, trading as Direct Holidays.
  • ABTA and ATOL offer holidaymakers protection if things go wrong and under ABTA regulations a complaint must be acknowledged within 14 days and a full response given by the tour operator within 28 days.
  • If you are unhappy with the response from Direct Holidays, you can refer your case to ABTA’s Arbitration Scheme or make a claim through the Small Claims Court.

Useful Contacts

To find out more about ABTA’s Arbitration Scheme click here.

To find out about how you can a claim in the Small Claims Court click here.

Personal Injury Holiday Claims

If you have suffered illness or injury on a Direct Holidays package holiday through no fault of your own, contact Simpson Millar before you write your formal letter of complaint after returning home.

Simpson Millar’s Holiday Claims Team can advise you how much your Personal Injury Holiday Claim is worth and help you make a claim against Direct Holidays on a 'No Win No Fee' basis.

Tour operators will always try and pay holidaymakers who have fallen ill or been injured on package holidays as little compensation as possible.

Remember, if you handle your holiday illness or accident claim yourself, once you have accepted an offer from Direct Holidays, it will be in full and final settlement and your claim will end.

Should you develop further symptoms – or your injury should become worse in the future – you may not be able to claim again. This is why you need to take advice from Simpson Millar about your claim to make sure you receive all the compensation you are entitled to.

Simpson Millar is one of the leading holiday claims firms in the UK – and our Specialist Personal Injury Holiday Claims Lawyers can offer free advice and help you make a claim for holiday illness or holiday accident compensation, if you have been ill or suffered injury through no fault of your own on a Direct Holidays package holiday.

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