How can I tell if my travel agency is licensed with Consumer Protection BC?
- Look for the travel agent's license number on all visual ads.
- Look for the Consumer Protection BC licence certificate which should be prominently displayed on the premises.
- You can also look for the Consumer Protection BC logo or decal at their business location or on their website.
- Check here to see if the business is licensed.
How do I make a claim to the Travel Assurance Fund?
What Can I do if my travel agency or travel service provider has gone out of business?
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- Get started right away. A claim must be filed within six months after the date the loss occurred.
- If your travel agency is still in business contact the BC licensed travel agent you booked your trip through to ask for assistance or to request a refund.
- If you purchased your travel services with a credit card contact your credit card company to find out if they will reverse the charges.
- If you purchased separate travel insurance contact your insurance provider to see if it will cover the costs of the undelivered service.
- Gather any additional information that will help with your claim. You will be asked to verify that the first four steps have been taken.
- Fill out the consumer TAF claim form [PDF] and submit it to Consumer Protection BC via mail or fax or complete the consumer TAF online claim form.
The following information must be included with your claim form:
- Brief summary of travel services purchased including dates, other travelers and the reason the services were not received;
- Proof of payment for the travel services (front and back of cheque, receipt for cash payment, credit card receipt);
- Proof of demand for payment to the travel agency (if the agency is still active);
- Proof in writing that credit card company will not reverse charges, if payment was made by credit card;
- Proof that the claim is not eligible for compensation from an insurer; if insurance was purchased, and
- Proof that travel services were not provided. The submission may include original unused tickets and vouchers for travel services not provided, or written confirmation from travel supplier that payment was not received from travel agency.
Please note that claim forms must be fully completed and signed.
Are there compensation limitations?
An incomplete form will be returned to you for correction and resubmission.
Compensation to the fund is limited to the original travel services paid for and not received. For example, if you book airfare and accommodation separately, and are unable to take the trip due to the failure of the airline, the TAF will only provide compensation for airfare as the hotel was still able to provide the travel services. If you are unsure about what expenses may be covered, please call our toll free inquiry line at 1 888 564-9963.
Is there a limit to how much can be paid out on claims?
Yes, under the Travel Industry Regulation, the maximum amount that may be paid from the fund to a claimant in respect of a claim is $5,000 for each person covered by the claim. Also, the maximum amount that may be paid from the fund in respect of all claims relating to an event is the total of $2,000,000. To find out more on maximum payout amount please visit the Travel Industry Regulation.
Do I have to file my claim within a certain amount of time?
Yes, to be eligible, claims must be filed within six months of the date you did not receive the travel services.
How long does it take?
What if I don’t agree with the decision about my claim?
The length of time it takes to process a claim can vary depending on the full completion of the claim form, cooperation from the licensee or third party supplier, meeting all the requirements set out by BC law or for any other reason outside the control of Consumer Protection BC. Please do not expect your claim to provide immediate money for any replacement travel plans you may have.
Under section 137 (2) of the Business Practice and Consumer Protection Act (BPCP Act) any decision, order or ruling of the Director made under the Act in respect of a matter that is in the jurisdiction of the Travel Assurance Fund is final and conclusive and is not open to question or review in court, except on a question of law or jurisdiction.
A decision, however, may be reconsidered in accordance with Division 1 of Part 12 of the BPCP Act. A request for reconsideration may be submitted within 30 (thirty days) of receiving a denial notice. The request must be made in writing and must identify the error the person believes was made or the other grounds for which the reconsideration is requested. The BPCP Act limits the power of the Director when reconsidering compensation fund decisions. This limitation requires that an application for reconsideration demonstrate that new evidence has become available or has been discovered that is substantial and material to the compensation fund decision, and did not exist at the time of the review, or did exist but was not discovered. Any application for reconsideration must clearly set out the evidence which has become available or which has been discovered, how it relates to the compensation fund decision, and where the evidence existed at the time of the review, why it was not provided or discovered.
Please note there is a $215 fee for reconsideration requests, which would be refunded if the reconsideration results in a decision favourable to the claimant. The decision made with respect to the reconsideration is final and may not be reconsidered. To find out more visit our policy page.
What if my complaint is about the quality of service?
Quality of service is a contractual issue. These complaints can be addressed to the travel agent where you purchased the service. Check our resources and links page to see who can assist with travel complaints.
Who can I contact to get more information?
There is a lot to know about the Travel Assurance Fund. If you are unsure about your eligibility to claim against the TAF, you can contact us. We also encourage you to contact us if you know of any unlicensed travel agents or wholesalers operating in BC.