Travel agents can take you for a ride

Muscat, Aug 15 – If you’re going on a holiday, make sure you go through a reliable travel agent so that you don’t have to regret your decision.
Many have had bad experiences with travel companies that promise big, but fail to deliver.
There have been complaints of many agents not complying with the terms of the tour agreement/contract.
Marwa Hamed, who just returned from a trip to Turkey, had an experience that she will never forget.
The 10-day holiday turned out to be a nightmare for her family, which had apparently been shortchanged by the travel agent.
Marwa had booked a 10-day package for Turkey, which included airfare, a driver, accommodation, local sight-seeing and food.
According to her, everything “seemed fine” in the beginning.
The troubles began as soon as they arrived at the airport in Turkey. “No one came to pick us up from the airport and take us to the hotel.”
Frustrated, they took the airport taxi to the hotel.
Well, that was just one part of the trouble.
While they were promised accommodation in a five-star hotel, what they were provided was four-star facility.
And the driver who was supposed to take them around did not show up.
The family ended up paying extra to go sight-seeing.
Marwa said the trip cost them double the expenditure they had anticipated. “We contacted the agent hoping for a refund of the extra expenditure that we had incurred during the trip. But it was futile,” she said.

She has a word of advice for holiday-makers: “Don’t get tempted by offers made by travel companies. Go for reliable ones.”
Aysha Houlani, who works for a travel agency in Muscat, agreed there were many fake travel agents. “They take some names and promote them on social media. In fact, this is usually done by individuals to woo customers.”
She said it is always better to contact the International Air Transport Association (IATA) agents for tickets, holiday packages, travel insurance, visa procedures, etc.
“While booking air tickets online, customers should use airline websites. Some sites offer cheap prices, but no guarantee.”

Zainab al Nassri