Red Sea Holidays wins bogus sickness claim case

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Holidaymakers have been further warned of the implication of lodging false holiday sickness claims after a Crawley couple were ordered to pay over £12,000 after seeing their claim branded as “fundamentally dishonest”, TTG reports.

Jessica Hegner and Karl Hancock demanded £4,000 in compensation from Red Sea Holidays after claiming to have fallen ill during a holiday to Sharm el Sheikh in 2013. According to the tour operator, the couple said they were struck down with food poisoning on the second day of their week-long trip and only recovered once they returned home.

Despite claiming to have been ill, they posted a series of social media messages describing their stay as “amazing” and having the “holiday blues” once returning to the UK. Red Sea Holidays added that the couple had taken part in two excursions – to a local waterpark and a Bedouin night excursion into the desert which included camel rides and dinner.

The judge presiding over the case dismissed the couple’s claim and while they had reduced their compensation claim to £3,306 they were ordered to pay costs of £8,000 higher.

Commenting after the ruling, Peter Kearns, executive director of Red Sea Holidays, said: “Bogus claims backed by sometimes aggressive legal advice, plus the cost of the legal defence then required, meant many claimants knew it was cheaper to settle than fight. That has to stop and as a company we will now contest any claim we believe without foundation.

“Fraudulent or exaggerated holiday sickness claims will be pushed through to a court hearing where the evidence can be properly examined.”

This latest ruling further highlights a concerted effort by travel operators and the government to clamp down on fake holiday sickness claims. In recent weeks, a couple received a record fine of £15,000 for claiming to be ill on break in Benidorm while another were given a suspended jail sentence after attempting to claim £50,000 from Tui.

Read more about more Red Sea Holidays’ recent case here – https://www.ttgmedia.com/news/news/red-sea-holidays-fake-claim-couple-ordered-to-pay-12000-13658

Read more about ABTA Stop Sickness Scams campaign here – https://abta.com/tips-and-latest/abta-campaigns/holiday-sickness