You may be interested in bargains when making travel plans, but it’s a good idea to look beyond the price tag and the glossy travel brochures to ensure you get the services you're paying for. Here are some tips to help you enjoy your trip.
Remember, if an offer seems too good to be true, it probably is.
When you book with a licensed BC travel agent and do not receive your contracted travel services, you may be eligible for compensation from the BC Travel Assurance Fund.
The Travel Assurance Fund (TAF) provides a possible source of compensation when consumers do not receive the travel services they purchased through a BC licensed travel agent.
Consumers may be eligible to claim if they booked travel services through a BC licensed travel agent and the travel services were not provided. Consumers must first try to obtain compensation from other sources such as their credit card provider, insurance company and travel agent.
The TAF is meant to compensate the person who paid for the travel services that were not provided. The TAF only reimburses up to the cost of the original contracted services, and does not cover the cost of alternative or replacement services. The most common example involves the consumer paying a BC licensed agent for travel services that includes transportation or accommodation, and then not receiving the service because of business failure.
The Business Practices and Consumer Protection Act and the Travel Industry Regulation set out the parameters relating to the Travel Assurance Fund. These are some of the items that are not covered by the TAF:
Under the Travel Industry Regulation, Section 20(a) the Director may defer payment until the director is satisfied that the claimant has made reasonable efforts to obtain compensation from other sources including credit card issuers and/or insurance (if applicable). For your claim to be considered, you must provide proof that you have made reasonable efforts to obtain compensation from other available sources before applying to the TAF.
Travel agents and wholesalers located in BC are required to be licensed and are required to contribute to the Travel Assurance Fund (TAF), which is managed by Consumer Protection BC.