Quote from Arthur Herzog – “To fake it is to stand guard over emptiness.”  I agree with this, in that it is harder to fake than to be honest – so why make things harder for ourselves!!

I don’t normally do daytime television, but while waiting for some work to be done on my car this morning – I caught Fake Britain on the garage’s TV.  Two holiday/travel stories in the programme which caught my eye (obviously).  There was a third story, but I was already on my way back to the office! http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b011qhhd

Now I don’t know how old the programme was or how many times it’s been repeated, but the issues are relevant still.

One item was about the perils of booking a holiday villa or apartment online on a private rental site.  These sites do their best to verify all information, but are unable to visit all properties and vet the owners.  In the instance shown, someone had made over £100,000 from renting out fake properties all over Europe (and is now in prison).  How can you insure against this?  The obvious answer is to book through a tour operator who knows the properties – ok, you may not get the personal touches or lower prices that you might get from booking direct.  However I remember a booking for a villa for a client this summer in Spain and the operator was able to tell me how far it was to the beach – easy walk there but steep steps on the way back.  So you can get very detailed information from a company, not just an individual.  And your money and holiday is safe and the properties are great.  I deal with various companies who rent out properties all over the world (but mainly Europe and the USA.)  With both ATOL or Flight-Plus protection for all holidays that include flights (some terms and conditions apply, which I inform you about at the time of booking).


The other story was about a holidaymaker who was arrested in Jamaica after luggage containing drugs was checked in under her name on a flight to the UK.  The message here was simple – keep an eye on your luggage at all times and in difficulty, ask for the British Consulate as quickly as possible.  Try and have something in your luggage to show it belongs to you (not addresses or personal details however).

According to the programme website, the final travel story was about a man who was sold a fake airline ticket.  To avoid this, book with a travel agent who is financially protected.  When I book flights, I send a receipt with an ATOL certificate straightaway to the client.  Make sure you get this certificate or query the booking with your credit card company.  Most credit card companies also protect purchases over a certain amount and many debit cards also offer the same level of protection.  If you don’t know the company you’re booking with, don’t pay by cash or bank transfer.

Lots of ways to avoid being conned!  Most involve checking out who you’re booking with, and if in doubt, don’t.  More details on protecting your package holiday can be found on the CAA website who administer ATOL http://www.caa.co.uk/homepage.aspx?catid=1759

Diamond Travel, agency S0466, acts as The Global Travel Group plc in connection with the sale of travel products.  Unless specified as the operator, The Global Travel Group plc is the agent of ATOL Protected Tour Operators and other principals.


Call Olein on 01252 519669

Email olein@diamondtravel.ltd.uk

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