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Scam Alert : Fly By Night Tour Operator And How To Safeguard Oneself From Such Unscrupulous Elements

03 Oct 2023

In a recent case,  a potential traveller booked his itinerary from a web site of travel agent, let us called him XYZ. The tour fare looked extremely attractive for the tourist and he was tempted to try out this new low fare travel agency. Being extremely pleased, the tourist relied on the promises made by XYZ agency.

In this blog, we shall examine how to identify a fraud tour operator. 

Let us fast forward this story. The customer paid the tour cost by IMPS transfer. The XYZ agency, appearing to be genuine issued a masquerade travel voucher. Happy at the deal the customer proceeded with the holiday. A car did report at the airport for the guest pick up. Unfortunately this was not what was promised. By now the excitement of the happy tour turned into disgruntlement. More bad news was in store for the customer. The hotel listed in the voucher simply didn’t match what was promised to the customer and the customer was left high and dry and the happy holiday turned out to be hopeless holiday. To address the grievance the tourist called the number of XYZ agency only to find that the number was switched off.  The customer was a Central Government Employee and travelling on LTC and was suppose to get bills, receipt and copy of vehicle documents for re-imbursement which also he couldn’t get. Customer visits the address listed in the website in Bangalore and did not find the office.

It was a double whammy and the customer not only lost the money, but could not get-re-imbursement because he did not get Invoice and receipt for the payment he made.  He has to pay for his airfare himself since he can not claim the same because he is unable to show he is travelled by road. .  It was thus, a shock after shock dealing with the scamster Alas! It was a ruined holiday filled with disappointment and disgust!!!

Tips to safeguard the holiday and avoid falling into a trap:   

There are certain clues that a tour operator will leave behind if he is not of repute. Here are a few of them to watch out for:-

  1. Have they declared their physical address on their website?
  2. Is a land line number available?  The best way is to avoid calling up on the listed mobile number and initiate discussion on the land line.   
  3. Look for other clues, like accreditation with trade bodies like, IATA,  IATO, TAFI, TAAI. Recognition by  Ministry of Tourism, Govt of India or respective State Government. Some of the trade bodies will display their member’s registration and to that extent enhance the confidence of the potential tourist.
  4. The age of the travel agency is another factor which would help in ascertaining the genuineness of the trade dealer.
  5. An important clue is the GST Registration of the firm. This should be insisted upon as any hesitancy on the part of the travel agency should be viewed with caution.
  6. Check the payment gateway. Do they have a business bank account? This will also throw up some light on the genuineness of the tour agency.
  7. Check with your peer group, if they have dealt with the agency before and the experience they had.
  8. Consumer complaints: Go to search engine and type out consumer complaints with the title of the tour operating company. This will also throw up some light on the veracity of a tour operating agency is genuine or not.

Skyway Tour:

No doubt, an agency like Skyway tour will pass all the parameters enlisted above and thus, it will be a safe bet to deal with them. They also have the foresight and vision to solve any ongoing tour related issues, whilst in the midst of availing one. Skyway tours is an impartial tour operating company and will encourage travellers to check the tour tariff before closing a tour deal. Skyway can assure a tourist of a hazzle free tour, free from worries at the best possible price. Talk to the tour experts and satisfy yourselves of a forthcoming tour with them. To help in this endeavour you may connect with Manju on Mobile No. 9845199077 Or Ms.Geeta on Mobile No. 9845170525 and take your travel related query forward.     

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