(MENAFN - Jordan Times) Travel and tourism agencies do not always comply with the advertisements they publish in newspapers to announce package deals for trips abroad, some Jordanians interviewed by The Jordan Times said on Tuesday.
Ahmad Saleh said he went to a travel agency to book a trip to Turkey, but "when I came to the office I was shocked that the prices were different from the ones in the advertisement - they were higher".
Naser Hamdan said he was planning to book a flight to Washington after reading an advertisement touting competitive prices in a newspaper.
"In reality, the prices were different," the IT professional noted after he called the travel agency.
"They told me seats were not available on the date I want to travel" I suggested other dates, but the answer was always the same" we have no seats on that date," Hamdan told The Jordan Times, adding that the front office employee in that travel agency proposed that he book a ticket on a different day for a higher price.
Responding to these complaints, Tourism Ministry Secretary General Issa Gammo said advertisements for tours outside Jordan that are published in newspapers or broadcast on TV channels require the ministry's approval.
He explained that travel agency bylaws stipulate that agents should obtain the ministry's approval on advertisements 15 days before publishing.
In addition, he noted, "the programme of the trip should be published in detail".
A customer can lodge a complaint with the ministry's complaints committee if the travel agent violates the agreement, according to Gammo.
"We study the complaint and get back to its submitter within a few days," he said, adding that if the committee finds any violation of the contract between the customer and travel agent, the latter should compensate the former.
Meanwhile, Amjad Maslamani, deputy director of the Jordan Society of Tourism and Travel Agents, told The Jordan Times that sometimes a potential traveller calls the agency after all the package tours announced in the advertisement are sold out.
However, "any company that promotes unrealistic offers will lose its reputation and customers", Maslamani said.
He noted that all prices announced in the newspapers are for a single traveller in a double room.
"When a customer comes to us, he thinks that the announced prices are for single rooms, but they are for a double room," he explained, adding: "We will send a circular to all travel agencies asking them to explain this in any advertisement they publish."