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:

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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 refunds.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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 Ontario

For further information:

Media Contact:

Dorian Werda
Director, Customer Services & Stakeholder Relations
905 624 6241 ext. 224

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Travel Industry Council of Ontario

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