Travel & Leisure

Common problems with holidays include changes to travel arrangements, substandard accommodation and accident and emergencies abroad.

There are specific pitfalls for Muslim consumers undertaking or planning a religious pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia. Advice is also available for common public transport problems such as delays, event tickets which don’t arrive and avoiding ‘lock ins’ to gym memberships contracts.

Religious Pilgrimage (Hajj and Umrah)

Muslim residents should book their Hajj pilgrimages with a reputable travel agent.

Following a number of complaints from people who have previously booked Hajj packages with unscrupulous agents, and several high profile court cases, Trading Standards has compiled a check list for those planning to make the trip to Saudi Arabia.

Reputable tour operators should provide:

  • Itineraries (the schedule of events)
  • Accommodation details
  • Flight details
  • Transport details
  • An Air Travel Operators License (ATOL) receipt to the consumer on payment of the booking. This protects the customer’s money if the business ceases trading and also ensures that customers are transported back to the UK at no extra cost
  • Information to consumers about the need to take out travel insurance if it is not included within the package they have bought.

Trading Standards recommends that pilgrims take out travel insurance to protect themselves and their families from paying any additional costs in the event of a crisis.

Saudi government regulations stipulate that British pilgrims performing Umrah and Hajj can only travel with UK travel agencies accredited with the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia. Members of the public can check with the Saudi Ministry of Hajj where travel agents are authorised for Hajj.

Further useful information for consumers:



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