Trading standards


Trading Standards

Click here for Trading Standards Poster c/o Birmingham City Council


While many Hajj travel operators provide a good service, there is an element which is disorganised, non-professional and in some cases fraudulent. If you have been a victim of fraud - it is essential to report Hajj fraud to the Police. For all other instances where the service has been less than expected, it is worth noting the following:

  • Before you book - ATOL protection?

    Check your trip is ATOL protected. Your Hajj or Umrah package will more than likely include flights. Any tour operator arranging packages 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 or by calling 020 7453 6424 - we have a list of approved tour operators.

  • Promotional material

    You are entitled to rely on the descriptions on brochures and internet sites, including photographs - they should not be misleading or inaccurate. Ask for and read the terms and conditions of the trip.

  • Changes to the details of your trip

    Significant changes to your trip such as flight details or itinerary should be made known to you as quickly as possible in order for you to make appropriate decisions and – if you wish – to cancel your trip without penalty.

    The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 do not allow traders to give misleading indications to consumers. If you feel the actual services you are receiving are not as described and feel misled report this immediately to the tour guide leader. However at the same time make notes and take pictures and videos if possible. Typical examples MAY include:

    Flights not being direct or with a different airline
    Hotels being different to those promised
    Hotels not being near places of worship as advertised
    Hotels have not been paid by the operator
    Food not being provided as advertised
    Travel arrangements within Saudi Arabia not being as promised
  • Booking via a Sub Contractor / unlisted Operator

    Often the person you are dealing with may only be an agent for someone else, if this is the case ask to see clear evidence that this is the case and check with the company who is actually the ATOL holder that they are actually supplying your package and dealing with your passport.

    If you cannot see your listed Operator appear as a Ministry Hajj Authorised operato, it is most likely to be a Sub Contractor (alternative operator/brand/trading name). Be clear as to who will actually be taking your passport to obtain the required Visa from the Saudi Ministry.

  • Payment in Cash

    We would urge great caution if the operator is only willing to take payments in cash.

  • Documentation

    Ask for full documents and invoices, when you actually make the booking you should receive and ATOL certificate with the ATOL number. If the travel operator is not able to provide the necessary information, or you have any other concerns pre booking do not give over any money and call Trading Standards.

If you are unhappy with your trip

If , having paid, but prior to departing you are unable to contact the travel operator or the company simply appear to have disappeared with your money then immediately contact TradingStandards or the Police /Action Fraud as appropriate.

If the travel operator does not resolve any problems you have experienced and you fell you were misled contact Trading Standards immediately on your return. The tour operator may try and dissuade you from making a complaint to the authorities , do not let them put you off exerting your rights…’Do not suffer in silence’

You can contact Trading Standards via the Citizen Advice Consumer Helpline on 0345 404 05 06or email
You can contact Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 - click here for Hajj Fraud