Flemish ombudsman says think twice before booking a winter break

The Flemish Ombudsman Bart Weekers fears that he will once again face a flood of complaints from Flemings that have seen holidays cancelled due to coronavirus measures. Mr Weekers told the Sunday freesheet ‘De Zondag’ that Flemings should think twice before booking holidays this coming winter and spring. “Along with others that process complaints I am not very motived to have to process these kinds of complaints again”. 

The peak of the second wave of the coronavirus epidemic in Belgium would appear be behind us and there has been positive news regarding vaccines to protect us from the virus. This has set some people thinking about taking a holiday abroad.  However, the Flemish Ombudsman Bart Weekers views this with some trepidation. The office of the Flemish Ombudsman is often the first port of call for people seeking advice after their holiday has been cancelled. The Ombudsman also deals with complaints about tour operators.

"I can understand that people are searching for something to look forward to, aren’t we all? But it is of course the case that it is not difficult to envisage you not being able to travel when the time comes. I have been dealing with complaints all year. From people that want their money back or have other issues. I am rather losing my patience with these kinds of complaints”, Mr Weekers said.

The Flemish Ombudsman went on to say that it isn’t always easy to find a solution. “Last year when Thomas Cook went bankrupt, the Guarantee Fund worked well. However, we are now in a different situation”. Some insurers offer cover that reimburses travellers if their holiday is cancelled. However, Mr Weekers says "I would like to read the small print of these policy, but ok. In March we will see what these policies are worth”.

The Flemish Ombudsman stresses that we should think before we book. "We are overwhelmed with  complaints about other issues that merit our attention. Please think before you book”.


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