Travel compensation: What you should know

While most travel experiences are positive, occasionally something happens. However, there are consumer protections you can turn to if something goes wrong.

When you purchase your travel through an Ontario-based travel agency or booking website, you have access to a complaints process and the provincial compensation fund. That’s because all travel agencies, booking websites and tour operators located in Ontario are regulated by the Travel Industry Council of Ontario (TICO).

The regulator’s complaints process helps to resolve disputes between consumers and the Ontario-based travel agency or website they booked with. The types of complaints they help address include:

  • Not being advised at the time of booking of any fees or penalties to make changes or cancellations.
  • The hotel not offering all the amenities that were advertised by the tour operator in their brochure or on their website at the time of booking.
  • Being denied boarding for a flight or cruise because the travel agent did not advise of the necessary travel documentation.
  • Having a hotel or cruise ship changed without notice.
  • Having a flight departure time delayed or advanced by more than 24 hours.
  • Being informed of a price increase after booking travel.
  • Not being informed by your travel agency of the availability of trip cancellation or out-of-province health insurance.

The Ontario Travel Compensation Fund is for consumers who did not receive the travel services they purchased because of the bankruptcy of an Ontario-based travel agency, website, or tour operator, or any airline or cruise line.

To be eligible, travel must have been purchased from a registered, Ontario-based travel agency or booking website. The fund covers up to $5,000 per passenger. There are limitations and certain caps on how much can be paid out.

You can check if you’re booking with a registered travel agency or booking website using the agency search feature at tico.ca

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