HAND LUGGAGE put in the hold on a busy flight might seem like a mild inconvenience – but if your bag gets lost, stolen or damaged, it might not be covered by your travel insurance.
More of us are opting to travel with just hand luggage opting out of paying to check in a bag. However, this often means there are too many cabin bags to fit in the overhead lockers and airline staff need to stow a certain number in the hold.
Consumer watchdog Which? found that the leading five UK travel insurance companies including Aviva, LV and Axa don’t cover valuables placed in the hold for loss, theft or damage.
Which? is warning travellers to take any valuables out of their hand luggage before they hand it over to cabin crew.
Another issue with having to check your bag unexpectedly is waiting to pick it up from the baggage carousel. If this process is delayed and a passenger misses a connecting flight as a result, airlines are not required to pay compensation.
These days, it is highly likely that passengers may have their cabin bags taken and put in the hold, because planes simply don’t have the capacity to takes all bags in the cabin.
If you have to put a bag in the hold at the last minute, try to remove wallets, keys, laptops and other valuables. If any items go missing from the hand luggage bag that you had intended to keep with you, do make clear to the airline that you expect compensation.
Make sure that you know if your own travel insurance covers this eventuality before you travel.
Consumer Group is talking openly and honestly
- Jersey Condor Consumer Group is delighted to report that they are engaging in increasingly open and constructive discussions with Condor’s Senior Management Team, to address the frustrations that many passengers have recently been experiencing.
- Issues that the Condor Consumer Group has been tackling, at a grass roots level, include:- passenger timetabling and reliability; fare structures; communication between the ferry operator and its passengers – particularly with regard to handling delays – and on-board practicalities and comfort. Members have also challenged Condor on the reliability of the Liberation vessel; contingency planning and how the company bases its decisions, when planning the services it offers.
- The Group has contributed to Condor’s ‘Comprehensive Service Review’, commissioned by the States of Jersey; the States of Guernsey and Condor itself.
- Chaired by the Jersey Consumer Council, the Condor Consumer Group, which was formed in May 2016, has now met five times and comprises senior managers and customer services staff from Condor (including CEO Paul Luxon) and a dozen passenger representatives (selected to reflect the broad customer profile using Condor’s services between France, Guernsey and the UK).
- The Jersey Consumer Council was asked to chair the Condor Consumer Group by Senator Lyndon Farnham, to remove the forum from the political arena and any potential conflicts of interest. The Consumer Council has substantial expertise in the consumer and travel sectors and, whilst it has no remit to enforce changes of business practice at Condor, it was felt by the Senator that the Council could provide the impartiality and support required to optimise the efforts of the Group and the impetus to encourage any changes required.
Executive officer of the Jersey Consumer Council, Anne King, who chairs the Condor Consumer Group comments: “We are delighted that this positive-minded, independent, collaborative forum has opened up a constructive face-to-face dialogue between both parties – our aim is to focus on working with the team at Condor to improve the aspects of their service which they CAN alter, rather than just criticising the company for the things that they can’t.
“We have used the first few meetings to get to know the specific needs of passengers and understand the nitty gritty of the frustrations that they have been experiencing. Similarly, the sessions have given Condor staff the opportunity to explain some of the limitations placed upon them by circumstances beyond their control and to look at how they can address passenger frustrations, in order to optimise the service the company provides.“We are looking forward to seeing service improvements, resulting from the Group’s discussions, in the near future – the Group’s Condor representatives have reassured us that the company is looking into the issues we have raised very seriously. Based on the meetings we have had so far, we are confident that the Group can serve to greatly improve relations between Condor and the passengers it serves. ”
Chief executive officer of Condor Ferries, Paul Luxon said: “We are pleased that the Jersey Condor Consumer Group has provided us with a positive forum whereby we can look at the finer details of how we best serve our passengers. We have also shared with members of the group our operating improvement plans which are well underway, along with our improved reliability, punctuality and customer satisfaction statistics, to show where we have made and continue to make, progress for our passengers.”
Condor Jersey Consumer Group
First Meeting held today (25th May)
Open & Honest discussions between Group Members & Condor
To keep us all grounded we have our own Group Charter and Objective
Group objective the Group will make every effort to identify and craft mutually acceptable resolutions that are aimed at reducing and resolving dissatisfaction, to improve relationships between Condor and the public
The Charter ensures that we all understand our own responsibilities and commitment to the Group.
All participants are presenting individually to the Group highlighting their own views on;
· main areas of dissatisfaction and the impact it has on those around you
· areas of satisfaction
· thoughts on how things could really change going forward
Half the Group had the opportunity today and others will be afforded the same at our next meeting.
The attendees, including Condor’s CEO Paul Luxon, listened, clarified and talked through various aspects of the service. Group members were open, honest and eloquently made numerous substantiated points. Although timetabling, reliability, communication and customer care was amongst the most cited areas in today’s resumes, each speaker articulated the reality and full implications of these dissatisfactions to each person, their commitments and obligations.
As one member said that it’s ‘when all these shortcomings converge at once’ you get a potent recipe for frustration and dissatisfaction.
The Group talked through with Paul about the Frequent Traveller Scheme as there is clearly confusion about decisions made regarding the longevity of the scheme; Paul clarified that they are currently consulting a selection of Frequent Traveller Scheme members to explore how it should look in the future – he assured the Group that it will be staying but will look different.
The points raised by each member will formulate a robust agenda for discussion.
In a bid to address the frustrations some Condor Ferries passengers have experienced of late, the Jersey Consumer Council has established – the Condor Jersey Consumer Group.
The aim of the Condor Jersey Consumer Group is to open up positive communication channels between the company and its passengers and to facilitate independent, open and transparent discussions between all parties.
The hope is that this new forum will help to optimise the experiences of Condor passengers and alleviate the frustrations that many customers have endured in recent times.
The Jersey Consumer Council has recruited 14 members to the Condor Jersey Consumer Group who have been stringently and fairly selected from 39 applicants reflecting a varied range of passenger characteristics, across Condor’s sailing routes. They will join members of the Jersey Consumer Council on the group. Condor Ferries chief executive officer, Paul Luxon and Corporate Communications Manager, Helen Day, will also be attending.
The first meeting of the Condor Jersey Consumer Group will take place next week.
Executive officer of the Jersey Consumer Council, Anne King comments: “We are pleased to have established this consumer-focused, independent forum. By bringing together Condor with a cohort of passengers, we hope that the ensuing face-to-face dialogue will help both parties to fully understand the issues which need addressing, in order to optimise the service the company provides in the future.
“We were delighted with the number and quality of the applicants who came forward to participate in this forum. The group needs to be relatively small, in order for it to be effective, whilst maintaining its representation and integrity. Whittling numbers down has been a difficult but necessary task and we would like to thank everyone who has offered their support to this initiative.
“We look forward to keeping Islanders posted about the progress which is made by the Group – we all have a vested interest in our ferry service working as well as possible.”
Condor Jersey Consumer Group
We need passengers to join the Group
The Jersey Consumer Council is overseeing the establishment of the Condor Jersey Consumer Group and we are now recruiting volunteers.
We are seeking input from a broad range of consumers who travel on all Condor routes to and from Jersey.
The Group is an opportunity for consumers and Condor to interact face to face, enabling a meaningful two way dialogue to discuss issues from both sides and to carve a way forward to help with customer service issues, reliability and communications.
We are seeking applications from
- Foot passengers
- Car passengers
- Less mobile passengers
- Sports groups
- Specialist groups; horse owners, motorcycle competitors, dog owners and competitors and so on..
To apply, please send a letter by email or by post stating very clearly why you wish to be considered as part of the group, the category of passenger you consider yourself to be and if your work or commitments will allow you to regularly attend meetings. The group will meet on a monthly basis early morning for 1 hour. We plan to hold our first meeting in mid May.
CLOSING DATE 12th MAY 2016
Jersey Consumer Council
9-13 Central Market
The world is at your ‘keyboard’ when using the internet to research or book your holiday or other travel arrangements.
Take a moment to check out all the risks even if you think you may be aware of them all.
- Fraud resulting from making payments over unsecured web pages
- Flight scams:
- Where you book a flight and receive a fake ticket, or pay for a ticket that never arrives.
- Holiday scams:
- Fake websites and email offers for holidays or villas that do not exist. They require you to pay a deposit, which you never see again.
- Fake competition scams defrauding you out of a fee to secure a holiday.
- Inadvertently advertising the fact that your house will be empty when you are away, by posting on social networking or travel tracking sites. Some insurance companies are now rejecting claims if homes are targeted by burglars while the owners are away on holiday and made reference to it on social networking sites.
- Ensure that any holiday or travel company unfamiliar to you is reputable by researching them online. Ensure that they are a member of a recognised travel authority which offers financial protection and a complaints service.
- When possible, pay for holidays and travel using your credit card as this offers additional financial protection over other methods. Please note that your holiday or travel company may levy a surcharge for credit card payments.
- Double check all details such as travel dates, itineraries, destinations and travellers before confirming payment, as you may be charged for amendments.
- Take out travel insurance adequate for your destination, activities and everyone in your party.
- Do not reply to unsolicited emails from companies you don’t recognise.
- If renting a private apartment or villa, call the owner/agent directly to ensure that it is legitimate. If the number is not provided, email and request it. Check reviews on TripAdvisor or similar sites.
- Get the full address of the property and find it on Google maps to check its location and legitimacy.
- Prior to payment, obtain a contract setting out terms and conditions of the rental, deposits, payment terms etc.
- Before entering payment card details on a website, ensure that the link is secure, in three ways:
- There should be a padlock symbol in the browser window frame, which appears when you attempt to log in or register. Be sure that the padlock is not on the page itself … this will probably indicate a fraudulent site.
- The web address should begin with ‘https://’. The ‘s’ stands for ‘secure’.
- If using the latest version of your browser, the address bar or the name of the site owner will turn green.
- Some websites will redirect you to a third-party payment service (such as WorldPay). Ensure that these sites are secure before you make your payment.
- Safeguard and remember the password you have chosen for the extra verification services used on some websites, such as Verified by Visa.
- When making a payment to an individual, never transfer the money directly into their bank account but use a secure payment site such as PayPal, where money is transferred between two electronic accounts.
- Always log out of sites into which you have logged in or registered details. Simply closing your browser is not enough to ensure privacy.
- Keep receipts for all online holiday or travel bookings and payments.
- Check credit card and bank statements carefully after booking to ensure that the correct amount has been debited, and also that no fraud has taken place as a result of the booking.
- Before you post details of your travel dates on social networking or travel tracking sites, ensure that the correct privacy settings are in place.
- Ensure you have effective and updated antivirus/antispyware software and firewall running before you go online.
Please refer to the following websites for more information:
ABTA Association of British Travel Agents
ATOL Air Travel Organisers’ Licensing
AiTO Association of Independent Tour Operators
Holiday fraud: look before you book
Get Safe Online is joining forces today with ABTA (the UK’s leading travel association), Action Fraud and the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) to warn you about the dangers posed by holiday booking fraud. Anyone booking a holiday either in the UK or abroad is at risk.
For information and advice on safe holiday and travel booking, click here
We all look forward to our holidays, and often they can cost a considerable amount of money, which most of us simply cannot afford to lose. Unfortunately, more and more people are being affected by holiday fraud, which means that not only do you not get your holiday … you normally end up losing your money too. The holiday, accommodation or flight they paid for doesn’t exist, or the booking hasn’t been made.Read More
Flying off on Holiday
Check out our Plane Facts guide which highlights your rights if things go wrong
It is important to be aware of your rights:
If your flight is delayed or cancelled you are entitled to assistance and in some cases compensation. If you are denied boarding because the airline has overbooked the flight, you are entitled to compensation.
Your rights are protected by European Law (Regulation (EC) 261/2004) and are the same regardless of the airline you are travelling with.
Your rights are protected for any flight from within the European Union (EU) and on flights from a non-EU country into the EU, provided the airline is licensed in the EU.Read More
Holiday Car Hire: Top Tips
Hiring a car abroad can often be a minefield. There are numerous ways in which car rental companies can charge you for extras that you may not want or need, and it is not always easy to understand what you’re buying.
But you can find trouble-free, cheap car hire abroad if you know what to look for. We have researched some key points for you from Which and the Guardian to help you avoid the pitfalls.
Follow our checklist to make sure you’re not forking out money unnecessarily for car hire abroad.
Before you know it, you’ve paid for them all (just to be on the safe side) and the price you now have to pay bears little relation to the one you thought you’d agreed on.
And all this before you’ve even got the car keys and you may find unexpected costs when you return the car at the end of your holiday, too.Read More
Going on Holiday? Its easy to forget to arrange the travel insurance in the excitement of planning your break.
Top Tips for Travel Insurance:
- Make sure that the medical cover is adequate – to help pay medical bills £2 million medical cover is advised by Which for just Europe and £5 million for worldwide.
- Cover your gadgets – you may need to extend your home insurance to cover as single items on your travel policy may only be covered for £250.
- Missed flights and missed connections (make sure that this includes the Channel Islands)
- Check the cancellation provisions – how much are you covered for in the event of the holiday being cancelled by unexpected events e.g. illness.
- A good travel insurance policy should provide cover for Illness, injury or death while you are away; Repatriation (getting you back home
- Check that the policy covers