Want to get out of the cold? Look before you Book
TORONTO, Feb. 11, 2013 /CNW/ - As consumers head into one of the busiest travel booking periods of the year in advance of March Break, the Travel Industry Council of Ontario can help by offering you consumer protection when you purchase your travel services from a registered Ontario travel agency.
"You can search the net and book online and also reap the benefits of a professional travel agency if you book with one of the 2,500 travel agencies in Ontario who are registered with the Travel Industry Council of Ontario," said TICO President & CEO, Michael Pepper.
"Ontario consumers have some of the best protections of any jurisdiction in the world thanks to the consumer protection available when they book their travel with a TICO registered travel agency," said Michael Pepper. "Not only do consumers benefit from tapping into the experience and professionalism of a TICO registered travel agency, it also provides them the protection of Ontario's industry financed Travel Compensation Fund. This provides consumers with their best bet for a worry-free vacation."
Here are a few tips from TICO to help travelers avoid hassles:
Book with an Ontario registered travel agency. Whether you do your
booking in person, by phone or on the Internet, look for a TICO
registered travel agency. Check www.tico.ca for a list of travel agencies. Booking with a TICO registered travel
agency gives you consumer protection that includes coverage from an
industry financed Travel Compensation Fund.
Research and ask questions: The internet is a great source of
information, but when booking, check to see if you are dealing with a
TICO registered travel agency. Travel counsellors' knowledge about your
destination can help you make the right decision. First-hand references
are hard to beat.
Buy travel insurance. Ontario travel agencies are also required to
advise you of the availability of trip cancellation insurance and
out-of-province health insurance at the time of the booking.
Know the terms and conditions of your booking. Before you confirm your
booking, your travel agent must disclose the terms and conditions to
you. Pay attention to details on cancellation, changes to bookings and
Get a Receipt. A TICO registered travel agency must provide a receipt
for all payment transactions, especially when customers pay in
cash. Keep a paper copy of all transactions, correspondence,
confirmations and anything related to your booking, including the
description of your hotel and the services included. The receipt must
outline details of the travel services that you purchased.
Check passports and visas. Your Ontario travel agency must tell you at
the time of booking what travel documentation is required for each
person travelling. Many countries require visitors to have passports,
visas or other documents such as health certificates and vaccinations.
Make copies. In case of loss or theft, make copies of your passport
details, visa, insurance policy, airline tickets and credit card
numbers. Carry one copy in a different place than the originals while
travelling and leave a copy with someone at home.
Check dates, times and flight numbers. Your travel agent is required to
check all tickets and travel documents for accuracy. The day before
your flight leaves, confirm departure times. Check in 2-3 hours before
the flight to ensure you get through security.
Label luggage. Put your name and home address on the inside and outside
of the bag. Carry jewelry, money, medications, important documents, and
valuables in your hand luggage.
Pack properly. There may be baggage and weight restrictions on the
number of bags permitted which vary from airline to airline. Find out
what the weather is usually like during the time of your visit. Most
often forgotten item: toothbrush. Most needed item: jeans.
SOURCE: Travel Industry Council of OntarioFor further information:
Director, Customer Services & Stakeholder Relations
905 624 6241 ext. 224