Pilgrims urged to use licensed travel agents

The Civil Aviation Authority is urging British Muslims to use licensed travel agents to book pilgrimages to Hajj following a rise in the sale of illegal or fake packages.

It is urging the 25,000-plus British Muslims who will make the Hajj pilgrimage in August to research their trips and use ‘trustworthy and reputable’ companies with ATOL protection.

In launching a new campaign, UK CAA director Paul Smith said: “As we enter the busy booking period for Hajj travel, we are reminding consumers to research who they are planning to book with to ensure their important trip is protected.

“Using a recommended travel agent is helpful, but it is vital to check that your provider is ATOL protected despite any recommendation you may receive.”

The CAA has published the following top five Hajj travel tips:

  • Check for ATOL protection: Look for the ATOL logo on your travel company’s website, brochure or shop front.
  • Research your trip: Some companies will incorrectly claim to have ATOL protection. Check the company’s name on the online database at: packpeaceofmind.co.uk.
  • Check if your package includes a visa: Appoint a licensed travel agent and ensure that they are arranging a visa as part of your arrangements.
  • Watch out for hidden costs: Make sure you check the airport and accommodation fees, such as baggage allowance and accommodation transfers, to avoid any surprises.
  • Check financial protection if booking with non-UK travel companies: There are some non-UK travel companies which offer Hajj travel to UK consumers, but these will often not be ATOL protected. Do your research and check what financial protection they provide.

source: Travel Mole