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MUSLIMS setting out on Hajj pilgrimages this month are being urged by Trading Standards to book with reputable travel agents. Birmingham City Council has compiled a check list for those planning to make the trip to Saudi Arabia following a number of complaints from people who have previously booked Hajj packages with unscrupulous agents and also due to several high-profile court cases. Reputable tour operators should provide itineraries, accommodation, flight and transport details.

An Air Travel Operators License (ATOL) receipt to the consumer on payment of the booking should also be made. This protects the customer's money if the business ceases trading and also ensures that customers are transported back to the UK at no extra cost.

Information should also be given about the need to take out travel insurance if it is not included within the package they have bought.

Coun Barbara Dring, chairwoman of the council's licensing and public protection committee, said: "There are unscrupulous tour operators that deliberately target the Muslim community claiming to specialise in organising Hajj packages."
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Oct 7, 2013
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