So you have booked your hotel and you’re looking forward to your stay and then disaster. The hotel contacts you and says it has overbooked or even worse you get to the hotel to find that it has overbooked. What are your rights and what should you do?
1) If your accommodation was booked with a UK travel company, then your contract will probably be with the hotel. But it could be that if part of a whole package then the contract it with that company. Your contract is with the business to which you paid the money.
2) The Consumer Rights Act 2015 states that you are entitled to services to be carried out with reasonable skill and care. Clearly if the hotel has overbooked, this is not the case!
3) If you have to go to a different accommodation due to overbooking then you can claim from the hotel for breach of contract. This would be what a court would deem as reasonable and could be the difference between the cost of the booked hotel and the new accommodation. So for example, a hotel in the area but of a similar standard, but if you can’t book due to the late notice then you should evidence that you tried to book a similar hotel but couldn’t and claim for the difference. You might also claim for extra travel expenses incurred due to the overbooking.
4) If you have booked directly with a hotel not in the UK then you will need to deal with the laws in that country. However, if it is in the UK you will be able to quote EU laws see How to complain when booking a service based in the EU. The UK European Consumer Centre should also help with any claim.
5) If you have booked your hotel as part of a package quote the Package Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tour Regulations 1992. Regulations 12 and 13 refer to alterations in the package holiday. You are entitled to redress including:
Loss of value, the difference between the cost paid for the holiday and the one received.
Out-of-pocket expenses incurred reasonable costs as a result of the breach of contract
Loss of enjoyment, compensation for the disappointment and distress caused by things going wrong.
Personal injury, compensation for any personal injury incurred abroad (specialist legal advice is thoroughly recommended here).
6) Follow these Tips when complaining.
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