The head of Tui UK has reiterated the company’s commitment to tackling fake sickness claims after a British holidaymaker was found to be making fraudulent claims against the travel operator.
Justin Miller from south Wales booked an all-inclusive holiday with Tui for his dad, brother and brother’s girlfriend to the Hotel Rui Toureg, Cape Verde in May and June 2016. While Mr Miller boasted about the holiday on Facebook and posting a series of photos of him eating, drinking and socialising, he lodged a complaint six months later.
The 40-year-old holidaymaker made allegations of poor food hygiene at the hotel which he claimed had made him ill. The claims were supported by medical evidence from a doctor and his father, Steve Coombe.
However, Tui’s investigation found a series of Facebook post from Mr Miller claiming to be “generally having a fantastic time” during his trip. This also included several photos of him drinking beer which Tui stated “were not the posts of a man who was ill and had his holiday ruined”.
The tour operator added: “He positively commented on the quality of the good, the beach and numerous outings. This was used against him as evidence in court.”
Mr Miller’s claimed was dismissed by Cardiff County Court in August 2018. The court deemed him to be “fundamentally dishonest” and he was ordered to pay Tui £19,025.
The ruling has further highlighted the impact that false sickness claims are having on the travel industry and leading to Tui’s managing director Andrew Flintham to call on fellow companies to join forces to tackle the issue.
In a statement, Mr Flintham said: “As the UK’s leading tour operator, we’ve continued to make a stand and do all that we can to put a stop to fake sickness cases. We hope this [Mr Miller’s case] sends out a clear message to anyone else considering making a fake sickness claim. We will simply not pay compensation claims of this nature and we will bring all similar cases to a court hearing.
“Our fight back against this type of activity helps us to protect genuine holidaymaker and we will continue to do all that is necessary to defend our industry and hotel partners.”
The Association of British Travel Agents explains that the amount of holiday sickness claims has risen by over 500% in recent years despite the number of actual sickness cases reported in resorts remaining the same. The organisation’s ‘Stop Sickness Scams’ campaign aims to tackle the problem to protect holidaymakers and the travel industry
Learn more about ABTA’s Stop Sickness Scams initiative here – https://www.abta.com/tips-and-advice/staying-safe-on-holiday/stop-sickness-scams-and-what-do-when-you-have-genuine-claim