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01 Feb 2017

BY Tom Parry

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Agent slams Trump after losing £20k booking

A travel agent has lambasted the “stupidity and ignorance of the Trump administration”, which he claims caused him to lose out on a booking worth at least £20,000.

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Agent slams Trump after losing £20k booking

Homeworker Paul Smith said the travel ban, imposed by the US president last Friday, had resulted in the cancellation of a group booking, despite the clients all being UK nationals.


The group of six doctors had booked to travel to New York in the next fortnight, but three members of the party became concerned because they had Iranian immigration stamps in their passports.


They eventually decided to cancel over fears of what could happen on arrival.


Smith, owner of Twickenham-based World of Transport (Wot) Travel told TTG: “The last thing they wanted was to go to the US and not be allowed in because of the new ban.


“It’s not just myself as the agent that lost out but hoteliers in New York and the airlines. The industry as a whole is being affected.”


Smith said the changes to US immigration policy as well as and the ongoing political unrest in the country had now made him reconsider selling the destination.


“What is the point in selling a destination that is so volatile at the moment?,” he added.

 

“Why should we support [the US government] when they are not going to support our clients?”


His comments were echoed by Halal-specialist tour operator Serendipity Tailormade, which announced this week that it had decided to temporarily stop selling US destinations, as well as routes on US airlines to Canada, the Caribbean and Latin America.


Director Nabeel Shariff said in a statement: “We believe the potential delays and distress that landing into US destinations or flying on US airlines could cause clients is simply unnecessary.

 

“Our approach to halal travel is all about inclusiveness, and regimes or destinations that deliberately go against the simplest of human rights, goes very much against our principles."

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