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The worst travel agents for problems revealed

From incompetent reps to awful accommodation, more than one in ten holidaymakers had a problem on their most recent holiday

Holidaymakers who booked with RSD Travel, a cultural tour operator that sells trips in cooperation with national newspapers and magazines, were the most likely to face problems according to a Which? Travel survey.

A whopping 41% of RSD customers told us that they had encountered a problem on an escorted tour with RSD Travel, which advertises ‘reader offers’ in newspapers such as The Times and The Mirror, while 30% experienced an issue travelling with Jules Verne. And nearly a quarter of package holidaymakers who booked with British travel giant Thomas Cook reported a problem.

But headaches are just one way to assess a holiday company. Holidaymakers in our survey also rated the customer service, accommodation and whether the description of the holiday matched the reality. See our best and worst travel agents table to find out who to book with and who to avoid.

Troubles with travel agents

Substandard accommodation, incompetent reps and terrible customer service topped the list of problems encountered by Which? members in the survey of 6,945 holiday experiences.

Chief among the problems specific to RSD was that it didn’t deliver on its promises. One customer, who says they were promised ‘sumptuous buffets’, on one occasion, had to endure eating ‘a cheese roll while standing in reception’.

Others complained of enduring the hard-sell to upgrade their itineraries and of being taken to jewellery, carpet and leather goods shops as part of their trip, and then being put under pressure to buy merchandise.

As an escorted tour provider, RSD competes with companies such as ExploreRiviera Travel and Titan Travel. See how it fares in our table of the best and worst escorted tour providers.

Hassle-free holidays

Not all the holiday companies in our survey proved to be problematic.

Fewer that one in ten of those who holidayed with Which? Recommended Providers Inntravel and Jet2 Holidays experienced a problem.

Those who travelled with HF HolidaysInghams and Trailfinders also reported relatively few issues with their holidays.

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