Abta have been campaigning against false claims. The case brought by Thomas Cook might just prove to the most effective campaign.


Deborah Briton and Paul Roberts were today given prison sentences of nine and fifteen months respectively, having been found guilty of making false compensation claims for holiday sickness. Judge David Aubrey said at Liverpool Crown Court that the claims had been a complete and utter shame: "they were bogus from start to finish."

Thomas Cook took out what was a landmark prosecution against the couple who claimed that they had fallen ill at the Globales America hotel in Calas de Mallorca. The tour operator used evidence from social media, which demonstrated that the couple had in fact enjoyed "a fantastic holiday" in both 2015 and 2016.

Meanwhile, and after a summer of negotiations between the Balearic, Spanish and UK authorities, it appears that the game may be up for the false holiday claim pirates who have been fleecing tour firms and hoteliers out of tens of millions of euros and pounds for the past few years.

False holiday claims have cost Majorcan hoteliers millions of euros since 2014, and this year the industry reached the point of threatening to ban British holidaymakers unless steps were taken to close the loophole in UK law which claim chasers were using to push through fraudulent claims of an average of 2,100 pounds a time. Some of the claims were being made two to three years after the alleged incidents and the main targets, the easier ones, were all-inclusive hotels.

Travel industry bosses and trade bodies were today asked to help the UK government put together new rules designed to crack down on false holiday sickness claims. They are being asked to submit evidence in the next four weeks to help give ministers a greater insight into the rise of false claims for gastric illnesses by holidaymakers. The findings will be used to help establish new regulations which the government hopes to introduce early next year.

Abta has launched its own campaign to educate British travellers on the legal implications of making fraudulent claims after seeing a 500% increase from around 5,000 claims in 2013 to around 35,000 claims in 2016.

The association blames the "unscrupulous, aggressive and sometimes illegal" practices of claims firms who have turned their focus to holidays after new legislation was introduced in 2012 to limit legal costs in other sectors, such as motor insurance, making cases like whiplash claims less profitable.


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Shouldawouldacoulda / Hace over 4 years

Even Stevie Wonder can see where this is going. Wall-to-wall telly the night before the case with a hard-hitting ITV prime time documentary; Governmen secretly tipping off media to be at Mags Court the following day; Judge imposing sentences harsher than some sex offenders; regulators launching investigations into UK lawyers farming these claims; Govt and cops actively seeking witness statements (as part of an alleged amnesty) from those who have been approached by these scammers; other lawyers launching claims for compensation from those behind the fraud. That bill will be huuuuuge. ..I don;t think now there will be one dodgy claim next year. Which is good. Means hotel redundancies avoided in Majorca; no bump in prices for holidaymakers; and genuine claimants get a fair hearing. Those who took the silver Dollar and smelled what the Americans call "Green Perfume" (compo) - whichever side of the scam they sit - are doomed. The travel industry generally, and in Majorca in particular, is too powerful to be taken on. Silly people.


jeff.cooper / Hace over 4 years

know lets be fair this year my wife had food poisoning from the hotel. What I found wrong was we had to pay the doctor 90 euros for his visit and injection plus medicine from the chemist I belief the fault was with the hotel and they should of covered the cost before the insurance is mentioned they do not pay the first 100 euros


Deliadam / Hace over 4 years

I have been ill on holiday in Mallorca. Never serious enough to call a local doctor. That is the key, in my opinion: no claim should be entertained if a 'local doctor's report' cannot be produced. It is black and white..no grey areas..common sense. Oh sorry, I live in a P.C. world where common sense does not prevail.


Frank / Hace over 4 years

Not justice really, or an effective deterrent either. 4 or 5 months for a 60 grand fraud, who wouldn't chance their arm ?


Henry James / Hace over 4 years

The blame lies with those who knowingly make a false claim,thinking they will get a ''free'' holiday at the cost of everyone else's insurance increasing,well,like these two,think again or you might just get a lot of free porridge as well.


Burgundy Blue / Hace over 4 years

Whilst it is good to see such scammers receiving custodial sentences for their fraudulent claims, it's hard not to notice that things happen very quickly when it's the hoteliers interests that are threatened.

Amazing, isn't it, that justice appears to be far swifter when those who have this island by the b*lls stand to lose out.

A welcome prosecution, nonetheless.


Andreas / Hace over 4 years

Agreed that the jail sentence is well deserved. But on the other hand, me and my wife were terribly ill in a hotel in Fuerteventura a few years ago. Probably Norovirus. We had only one day well in a 10 day holiday. On return to the UK we tried to make a genuine claim. No chance, because even though we reported it to the holiday rep, we didn't get a local doctor's certificate as we weren't told we needed one. Point is the scamsters are no worse than the greedy holiday companies and and dodgy claims firms.


Richard Pearson / Hace over 4 years

The people who apparently were behind the scheme here should receive the same treatment as well.


Les C / Hace over 4 years

Give them doggy food in jail, for say 5 years once in a while, with no treatment, and no early release, to give a genuine doggy stomach. Make them pay for all expenses incurred. Take passports away for life. Word gets around, hopefully this would stop this type of thing.


John P / Hace over 4 years

Simple,cancel their passports,forget dogooders and human rights,its us who pay travel insurance and pay for holidays who finance these "ill people"