A guide to booking your Hajj and Umrah Pilgrimage
In the UK, anyone who offers for sale pilgrimage tours must comply with the Package Travel Regulations 1992. The Regulations protect pilgrims from disreputable travel organisers, and are enforced by your local trading standards service.
Before you book
- Check that the descriptions (including photographs) in brochures and on the internet are not misleading or inaccurate.
- Check your trip is ATOL protected. Your Hajj or Umrah pilgrimage tour will probably include flights. Any tour operator arranging a tour with flights must hold a current Air Travel Organisers Licence (ATOL). Those who do not are operating illegally. An ATOL ensures that your prepayments are protected and also provides for getting you back home if necessary in the event of the operator going bust. You can check whether your operator holds a licence on line at Civil Aviation Authority website or by calling 020 7453 6424.
- Ask for and read the terms and conditions of the trip.
At the time of booking and afterwards
Before the contract is completed you must be given information about any passport and visa requirements, any health requirements, as well as arrangements for getting you back home if your tour operator stops trading.
Before you leave home, you must receive a written copy of the terms of the contract for the trip, confirmation of your booking, details about the itinerary, transport details, and the name and address of a company representative or an appropriate contact for you to use whilst you are on your pilgrimage tour. All these things form part of your contract with the operator.
Keep your contract, booking invoices, letters, and all other documents about your pilgrimage tour in a safe place.
Changes to the details of your pilgrimage tour
- Any significant changes to your pilgrimage tour such as flight details or itinerary, should be made known to you as quickly as possible, so that you can decide, if you wish, to cancel your tour without penalty.
- Wandsworth Council Trading Standards are responsible for enforcing the Package Travel Regulations 1992 locally, and can offer advice on any problems and investigate complaints.
Making a complaint
All complaints must be logged with the Citizen's Advice Bureau who will pass your complaint to the relevant authority following an investigation.
Other sources of advice
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) can provide helpful information on matters such as lost passports or health problems whilst you are in Saudi Arabia. The FCO can be contacted on 020 7008 1500.