Hajj and Umrah 2022: essential tips to avoid pilgrimage travel rip-off

Travellers seeking to e book Hajj or Umrah pilgrimages are being warned towards pretend offers and unlicensed firms placing their go to in danger. Through the years folks have misplaced 1000’s of kilos via pretend ‘pop-up’ journey offers which are both not licensed or don’t exist.

Historically, round 25,000 British Muslims make the pilgrimage annually. The Covid-19 pandemic has disrupted journey to the sacred website prior to now two years, with Hajj solely obtainable for residents contained in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in 2021.

The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah has now introduced that Hajj 2022 will go forward between July 7-12. Umrah pilgrimages are open to worldwide travellers, with Hajj internet hosting a million pilgrims this yr.

The Civil Aviation Authority is urging travellers to test fastidiously and ensure their pilgrimage will not be ruined by reserving via a disreputable firm or people, or these falsely posing as respected journey brokers. By researching, utilizing a reliable and respected firm, and checking for ATOL safety, pilgrims can journey protected within the data that their journey is financially protected.

Anna Bowles, head of Shopper Enforcement on the UK Civil Aviation Authority, stated: “These journeys have vital non secular that means, and we need to be certain shoppers analysis who they’re planning to e book with and that monetary safety is in place to keep away from disappointment.

“We’ve seen folks lose 1000’s of kilos lately due to scams and faux offers, and with a surge in journey to Mecca, it’s greater than necessary than ever earlier than for folks to be vigilant. It’s additionally actually necessary to test that your supplier is ATOL protected, regardless of any advice you might obtain from buddies or household.”

Rashid Mogradia, of CBHUK (Council of British Hajjis), added: “With demand for Hajj 2022 anticipated to be greater than precise provide, we strongly urge British Muslims aspiring to carry out Hajj to e book with a UK-based Licensed Hajj Organiser who’s instantly licensed by the Saudi Ministry of Hajj and who holds a legitimate Air Journey Organisers License (ATOL).

“The organiser ought to have their very own visa quota and pilgrims ought to get written affirmation that the bundle they’ve bought features a Hajj visa. As well as, the organiser should subject their prospects with an ATOL certificates on the time of reserving which is able to afford them the monetary safety within the occasion the corporate goes bust.”

Hajj & Umrah journey ideas:

Test for ATOL safety: Search for the ATOL brand in your journey firm’s web site, brochure or store entrance. You may also search for an ATOL holder via our ‘Check an ATOL’ webpage. ATOL safety signifies that in case your journey firm goes bust, you’ll get help and monetary assist.

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Analysis your journey: Some firms will incorrectly declare to have ATOL safety. Test the corporate’s identify on the net database at www.atol.org

Test in case your bundle features a visa : Appoint a licensed journey agent and make sure that they’re arranging a visa as a part of your preparations.

Be careful for hidden prices : Be sure you test the airport and lodging charges, reminiscent of baggage allowance and lodging transfers, to keep away from any surprises.

Test monetary safety if reserving with non-UK journey firms: There are some non-UK journey firms which provide Hajj journey to UK shoppers, however these will usually not be ATOL protected. Do your analysis and test what monetary safety they supply.

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