The ABTA has launched an independent Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) scheme to resolve personal injury travel claims worth up to £10,000.
The scheme offers travel companies and holidaymakers a means of resolving complaints such as holiday sickness claims without the need to go to court. Holiday sickness claims have risen significantly since 2013 according to the travel association. 9 out of every 10 personal injury claim received by ABTA members is now associated with a holiday sickness. It says that figure was about 60% in 2013.
The decisions made by the scheme – which is administered by the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (CEDR) – should take no longer than eight weeks from start to finish. ABTA says that the scheme will meant that there is no need for holidaymakers to work with a claims management company (CMC) anymore.
ABTA’s ADR scheme is open to holidaymakers who have booked with an ABTA travel company and are unable to resolve their differences through the company’s complaints process. The scheme is voluntary and both parties have to agree to use it. It involves disputes about an injury or sickness that the customer alleges was the fault of the company (or one of their suppliers if they were on a package holiday).
Simon Bunce, director of legal affairs at ABTA said: “ABTA has been successfully helping to resolve holiday complaints for over 40 years and we are delighted to be able to extend our complaints resolution to cover personal injury claims.
“The new ADR scheme means that people who have travelled with an ABTA tour operator can now access a straightforward, cost-effective and fair resolution service for personal injury claims without the need to go to court. This enables Members to save on legal costs and holidaymakers to save time and sidestep claims firms that are likely to take a large slice of any award.”