We often hear sad news that another travel company has gone bankrupt, leaving its customers without a tour or even abroad without tickets and hotels. What if this unpleasant situation happened to you? We are not going to give advice on how not to fall for the bait of tourist scams right now. The tips of our expert - the airline ticket search engine Aviasales.ru - are intended for those who have already bought a tour and left abroad.
Spread the straws
Before buying a tour, think about such a terrible event that could happen to you. Think over all the "retreat moves": first, stock up on extra money or a separate bank card with an emergency reserve of money for a hotel and a ticket. Secondly, write down for yourself all the necessary telephones (consulates, nearest hotels, airlines) and Internet resources through which you can buy a return ticket as quickly and cheaply as possible or book a hotel on time. You can also insure in advance by calling the airline and sending an e-mail to the hotel with a request to confirm the reservation.
Contact the responsible
If all bad things have already happened, then call the agency and the tour operator in sequence. The fact is that these are different organizations: a tour operator is a company that is engaged in the formation of a tour, and a travel agency only sells ready-made vouchers (tours). The failure could have happened at any stage. The agency could have worked in bad faith - in this case there is a chance for the help of the tour operator. So, if you buy a ticket from an agency, ask for the name of the operator.
And the agency could have made a mistake and book the tour with the operator who had difficulties. Then there is a possibility that the agency has professionals who can help you.
And, finally, an extreme case - the Russian embassy in an unfamiliar country. In such situations, helping tourists is their task. Your mobile operator will send you the phone number of the embassy by SMS, do not delete it.
Pay by phone
In a difficult situation, you will have to make a lot of calls from your mobile or even go to the Internet to "sort out" the situation. After all, representatives of a bankrupt travel agency often stop answering calls, and tourists really need advice on further actions.
First of all, fund your account - with the help of friends or on credit.
Find yourself a place to live
It may happen that the hotel suddenly tells you that your room has not been paid for. Unfortunately, you will either have to pay for the hotel yourself (this or another), or return home. However, in this case, be sure to follow these steps: draw up an act of refusal to move in (by yourself, indicating in the header the date and place of drawing up, and at the end your full name, phone numbers and passport data). Find at least two witnesses, ask them to sign this act and leave their passport details. A representative of the host must also sign.
Then find a hotel and try to relax in it. But collect evidence of all your spending: paying for a hotel room, excursions, calls to a travel agency, etc. Before leaving, ask the hotel for a receipt indicating its name, address, room rate. You can also take photos and videos, while capturing the environment, which makes it clear where you are. What is it for? Upon return, you will be able to attach all the evidence you have collected to your claim and secure guaranteed cost recovery.
Call the airline to see if you are guaranteed a return ticket. If during check-in at the airport you are told "You are not on the passenger lists", then this again needs to be recorded. To do this, ask the employee at the check-in counter to make a mark on the ticket indicating the reason for the denial of boarding.If you do not agree at the counter, you can make such a mark at the airport administration. It is also advisable to draw up the same act describing the events at the airport, as in the hotel, with the signatures of witnesses. It will be especially useful if you had an electronic, not a paper ticket, and will prove that the flight did not take place.
Now you are faced with the task of returning home as cheaply as possible. Use a special search engine to find the cheapest ticket (for example, Aviasales.ru). To make the ticket price even lower, you can look at connecting flights (most often they are much cheaper) or offers from low-cost airlines (low-cost).
Don't forget about friends
"But who will go to meet me at the airport at night if I fly without a penny even for a bus!" - My friend Natasha sighs sadly about the hypothetical situation "the travel agency has burst". “I'll go,” I calmly answer her. In a difficult situation, each of you will find a friend who will help you, if not entirely, then at least with something - transfer money to a card, pay for a cell phone, and meet you in a taxi. Don't be afraid to be rejected and don't be afraid to ask. There are more good people than you think.
Upon returning home, claim compensation for the failed tour. A claim for damages can be presented to a travel agency, tour operator, or directly to an insurance company, which was the financial guarantor of the organization. All information about the tour operator and the "insurer" must be in your contract, including the name and address, since all tours under Russian law must be insured.
You will have to draw up a claim, it will need all the documents, checks and receipts that you have collected, and which show that you did not receive the services guaranteed by the contract, or received them in an improper form. And also - a copy of your passport and a copy of the contract under which you bought the tour (after all, in order to prove that you were not provided with something, you need to confirm that you were promised something), with all attachments - usually this is a booking sheet and information about tour operator. The contract must be signed by the director of the company, and if it is signed by a manager or another employee, then you must have a copy of the director's power of attorney to delegate his authority to sign the contract to this employee. Also, you must have a document confirming the payment of money for the tour: a check, a tour voucher or a cash receipt - the last two must have a round original seal of the company. But the stamp "paid" is not suitable here - the court may refuse compensation.
If everything is done correctly, according to the law "On the basics of tourist activity in the Russian Federation" you must return the money within 30 calendar days after receiving the documents or recognize the case as not insured.
Have time in time
If your tour operator has stopped working, then you must try to be among the first applicants, since the liability limit is limited to ten million rubles. But the victims can be several hundred, or even thousands, if a large company has burst. And it is also desirable to send a duplicate of documents with notification to the legal and postal address of the tour operator and the insurer.
However, we still sincerely hope that you will never need these tips!