File a Travel Complaint | USAGov

Complaints About Travel

You can direct most complaints related to travel to:

Consult a licensed attorney, or file a case in a local small claims court if the complaint is severe.

Complaints About an Airline

The kind of complaint you have determines the agency you should contact.

Learn about your consumer rights and responsibilities as an air traveler and how to avoid problems. 

Complaints About Vacation Rental Scams

Whether it’s a room rental or a private home or property, it’s easier than ever to find a vacation rental online. It’s also easier than ever to get scammed. Learn how to report and avoid vacation property rental scams.

Report a Scam

Report a rental scam to the state consumer protection or attorney general’s office. The Federal Trade Commission also takes complaints about vacation rentals. Or, you can report the scam to local law enforcement where the property is located.

If you found the scam rental ad online or were scammed using the internet, also report it to the website where the listing was posted. In addition, report it using the FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center.

Protect Yourself

Learn how to avoid a vacation rental scam and how to spot common rental scams.

Do:

  • Look at pictures of the rental property and maps of the area before you rent the property.

  • Make sure the property is located near the tourist sites and attractions that you want to visit.

  • Make sure that the person renting you the home or property is the actual owner. If not, make sure they have been authorized to rent the property by the owner.

  • Find out if there have been any complaints about the property owner or listing agent. To do so, contact the state consumer protection office.

  • Contact the real estate licensing agency where the vacation home is located to learn your rental rights.

  • Make sure payment and refund policies are written into your contract. Pay with a credit card so you can dispute the charge for the rental if there is a problem.

  • If you book lodging through an online rental platform, be wary if the host asks you to pay or communicate outside the rental platform.

Don’t:

  • Don’t pay with cash, a cashier’s check, or a money transfer until you are sure that the rental is legitimate. Money sent by wire or transfer cannot be refunded.

  • Don’t forget to carefully examine pictures of your potential rental. Look for signs of tampering or alterations to make the rental look more appealing. 

  • Don’t answer odd questions about yourself or your family. Your answers could make it easier for scammers to get your personal information.

  • Don’t hesitate to ask for reviews, references, or certifications from the landlord or management company.

  • Don’t skip reading the rental contract before you make a deposit.

Complaints About a Hotel or Motel

To complain about service or accommodations at a hotel or motel, attempt to resolve the matter through the company first:

  • Direct your complaint to the manager or to the customer service line.

  • If you feel like your issue was not resolved, contact the regional manager or another senior executive.

Complaints About Travel Agents or Travel Agencies

File your complaint about a travel agent or agency with the accredited membership organization the agent or agency belongs to:

Complaints About Cruises

Learn about your legal rights and how to file a complaint.

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