View Full Version : Can they do this??

12th Jul 2008, 19:23
A colleague of mine is travelling to Kos in a few weeks time with Th Cook along with 5 other of his 'mates'.

They have all paid for their tickets and last week he recieved a call to say that the tickets were ready to be picked up.

He went into the travel agent and after arriving there was informed that the tickets could not be released as one of the party did not have travel insurance.

Whilst I, in no way condone travelling without insurance; I would always recommend it covering yourself; I cannot see how the airline/package tour company can make it compulsory.

It may be that a group of 18-20 year olds, at loose on a holiday island, are considered a risk but does anyone know the rules and regs on this??

12th Jul 2008, 20:11
Interesting question... to which I don't know the answer. However, as you have pointed out, insurance would seem a rather sensible requirement. Given that the ticket is essentially a contract, if the requirement is stated in the terms of the contract, then TC would presumably have the right to insist that the contract terms be upheld?

12th Jul 2008, 20:20
AFAIR it is a condition of carriage. I travelled with them last year and had to show my annual policy to allow them to enter the details on the booking system. If this allows the rep to access those details while you are unconscious in a hospital then all the better.

12th Jul 2008, 22:25
Sometimes it is not just the carrier - who for example, do not want to have meet extra costs to get your ski damaged body back to the UK - but the country.

A friend who is applying for a Schengen Visa has to show proof of insurance when applying for the Visa. Further, they specify the levels for the different categories.

12th Jul 2008, 23:25
Working in Travel myself, i believe they cannot do this. It is the customers responsiblity to ensure they have adequate insurance, not the agents.

It may be a case that they are trying to up their sales on their insurance which is very naughty of them to put the customers in that situation.

We ask the client if they have insurance or do they want to purchase it from us, if they say no, were not going to stop giving them their tickets.

13th Jul 2008, 07:51
Thanks all for the replies.

I am minded to think that you cannot force someone to do something that is voluntary. You could make them sign a disclaimer of course but I do feel that this is not lawful.

I fly a fair amount each year and have never been asked to produce proof of my travel insurance yet.

The tickets have been paid for in full and surely that is the only requirement (apart from turning up for the flight) on behalf of the purchasers. If one of them is reckless enough to travel without insurance then on his head be it. The airline aren't going to have to cough up for him. If he needed medical assistance in Kos he would be covered under the EHIC system. Whilst I appreciate this is not insurance as such but would cover his needs anyway. Just having travel insurance doesn't automatically cover you for repatriation etc.

I think that this is just another attempt to raise revenue in the hope that the person will opt for theirs at the time which, given that most are mediocre at best and a ripoff in the most part, are a waste of money.

13th Jul 2008, 08:11
Tolsti - are they travelling flight-only or on a package?

13th Jul 2008, 09:36
Flight only....no they can't insist.

On a package then its different. The book conditions are pretty standard for the main guys. Operators were prevented from insisting on you having their uinsurance for competition reasons. Thay are allowed to isnsist that you have insurance cover that is of the same standard as thiers. So you can't say well I've bought a 5 policy and that will be fine.

The reason for this is that operators can have a liability if things go wrong. In the first instance they have to provide up to 5000 to help you but thi is often done knowing their will be a policy in place to pay up at the end of the day. If you don't have that then why should they take the risk.

All in the small print i'm afraid.

13th Jul 2008, 10:24
I think this is a bit of a grey area. As Lexoncd says for a package they can insist you have insurance and this is understandable. As for flight only there is specific EU legislation which prevents airlines forcing customers to buy additional services, like insurance, through them.

As for an airline insisting on it's customers having medical and evacuation insurance I think that's a very grey area, there are a whole range of reasons why an airline can decline your business if it so chooses. Also, there are various countries which insist you must have medical insurance to enter, like the Russian Federation for example.

Personally speaking I think you might find that this particular problem may be more connected to the software that you travel agent is using, ie it's the same as the package tour software and requires the box regarding insurance to be ticked. If Thomas Cook were insisting on insurance with every flight booking we'd have heard about it before.

13th Jul 2008, 16:43
TS... I understand that it is a package... flight and dwelling.

The lone person concerned came into the pub this lunchtime and has stated his full intentions to purchase travel insurance. I explained the various responses to him and his only concern was that he felt as though he was being railroaded into buying the insurance promoted by the operator in order to get the tickets released.

SXB.... thanks for that and I am sure that none of these chaps have actually read the T & C and I don't have them available to me.

So, maybe, it's ''The Computer Says No''??

Lexoncd.... Thank you for that, very interesting...any links/ideas where I can get the relevant reading material re the 5000.