ABTA is announcing changes to its arbitration scheme, following the appointment of dispute resolution specialists Hunt ADR who will handle ABTA’s Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) schemes from 16 May.
While much of the scheme will remain the same, the claim bands will be restructured and simplified, which will lead to some reduction in fees for customers and Members. The collation of the claim details and defence response will now be done by Hunt ADR.
For over 40 years, ABTA arbitration has been used to settle alleged breaches of contract and/or negligence between consumers and ABTA Members and can offer considerable cost savings over using the Small Claims court.
Arbitration allows consumers to resolve disputes without going to court; it is faster, less bureaucratic and costs less than using solicitors. Arbitration is based on written documentation together with other evidence, such as videos and photos. If a claim includes an element of minor illness or personal injury then the arbitrator can also consider this, but there is a limit of £1,500 per person.
In addition to the legally binding arbitration service, ABTA’s ADR schemes provide a free of charge, voluntary conciliation scheme. The ABTA conciliation scheme is for disputes only involving personal injury or sickness claims and has an upper claim limit of £10,000 per booking. Conciliation provides a forum where both sides in a dispute can come to a mutually satisfactory settlement, via negotiation and sensible compromise. It also offers a viable, swift alternative to Claims Management Companies, which take a substantial amount of any successful award.
Simon Bunce ABTA Director of Legal Services:
“We are always looking at ways to improve our services for both Members and their customers. The new partnership with Hunt ADR will see customers and Members benefit as we continue to offer a high quality service, but in many cases at a reduced fee.
“ABTA’s ADR scheme is a well-respected and effective system in resolving disputes between travel companies and their customers, and we look forward to working with Hunt ADR in delivering the arbitration scheme and conciliation service.”
Hunt ADR's Founder & Managing Director Gregory Hunt said:
"Hunt ADR is extremely proud to have been awarded this prestigious contract. The ABTA arbitration scheme has been running for a very long time and is one of the best known of its type across Europe. We look forward to working with our case management partner, Consumer Dispute Resolution Limited, in providing the best possible service for ABTA, its members and the general holiday buying public."