ABTA’s role in complaints
Please see our information on the ABTA complaints process. It is important to understand the function of ABTA and how we are able to assist you with your dispute. Please read in full the information on what complaints we can and can't help you with.
We are a voluntary trade association that represents our travel agent and tour operating Members. We are not an ombudsman, and currently there is no ombudsman in the travel industry.
We maintain a Code of Conduct which applies to all ABTA Members. It aims to ensure that ABTA Members maintain higher standards and it allows you to travel with confidence.
It covers your holiday from start to finish: from the information before you book, through the booking process, to helping you complain if anything goes wrong.
Please remember, these steps only apply if you’re complaining about an ABTA Member, but you can use them as a guide for complaining against a non-ABTA Member or an airline.
Send your complaint in writing to the travel company with whom you booked. The company should reply within 28 calendar days, or provide an explanation for any delay within 28 calendar days of that correspondence.
The company might call you in an effort to resolve the complaint and we would suggest you keep detailed notes in relation to what was discussed. This will hopefully settle the complaint. If you speak to the company by phone we advise you to follow it up in writing.
If you aren’t satisfied with their response, continue to Step 2. There is an exception to this:
If the company doesn’t respond within 28 calendar days please register your complaint with us and we’ll facilitate the complaint with our Member on your behalf. You will need to provide us with all of the original correspondence with the company. Please see our information on the ABTA complaints process.
Send a second written complaint to the travel company. Again you should receive a full response within 28 calendar days.
If the company’s reply doesn’t satisfy you and you're not happy with the level of holiday compensation being offered, or you feel that you’ve reached deadlock, please go on to Step 3.
If the company doesn’t respond to your second letter within 28 calendar days please register your complaint with us and complete our online process.
If you’ve already travelled or if your holiday has been cancelled, and you have used Step 1 and 2 and still not settled your complaint, please register your complaint with us and will we facilitate it with our Member. Please see our information on the ABTA complaints process.
You will need to send us your booking confirmation invoice and your correspondence with the travel company before we can assist. Whether your correspondence was by email, by letter or both, once you’ve registered with us you will need to upload all of these documents before we can proceed.
Please remember, you can only register your complaint with us if you are complaining about one of our Members. When you register with us and submit your complaint, you will be sent your reference number by email and SMS text message. You will be prompted to log back into the ABTA website whenever there is any update on your complaint from us (ABTA) or your travel company (the ABTA Member).
Please note, in order to register your complaint with us, you will need an email address and a mobile telephone number. You will not be able to register your complaint without them.