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Abbott Travel, Ilford - Never again

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London, United...
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99 posts
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Abbott Travel, Ilford - Never again

Unfortunately Tripadvisor doesn't provide the option to review tour operators so I have decided to share my experience here.

Abbott Travel, an Umrah Operator from London is one operator not to be used if you wish to have an enjoyable, trouble free umrah experience. You will be promised 4* hotels or hotels within short walking distance from the Haram, but you would be kept in 2* star hotels that are at least 10 minutes walk from the Haram. The hotel rooms are so cramped that you'll be lucky to find a space to open your suitcase and you'll be extremely lucky to find everything in working order. Broken lights, broken toilets/showers and dirty bed sheets are quite common and you could also find yourselves bitten by bed bugs. We had to pay the hotel staff from our pockets to have our bed sheets changed and bathroom cleaned.

It was very normal for the tour leader (company owner himself) to ask the group to be ready for a certain time to travel, yet he would himself turn up hours later while the group sat around wondering what was happening. At times, the coach booked was not large enough for the group so travelling would be delayed as he would then arrange a car for the rest of the people, but by then those who didn't get seats in the coach would be very angry and frustrated and this obviously ruined the mood of the whole group.

In order to make more profit (I'm assuming) the group leader makes changes to itinerary at the very last minute which mostly are very inconvenient for the group and when questioned about the changes, makes ridiculous excuses. If anyone argues against the changes, he becomes very intimidating by raising his voice regardless of who he's talking to.

I would definitely not go with him again.

Essex
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11. Re: Abbott Travel, Ilford - Never again

I had an issue where I paid up to go to Masjid Al-Aqsa, but 2 days before I was suppose to travel, Mr Shah phoned me and said we couldn't get into Jerusalem. So instead I went straight to Umrah instead.

On my return, I went to the agency to get a refund in the difference in price and was told to come back a certain day, when I returned, I was told that he was not in the country and to come back a week later. I did get my money back, but know I always travel with Travel Express in Leyton. Their service is fantastic.

West Midlands
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16 posts
46 reviews
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12. Re: Abbott Travel, Ilford - Never again

Please can u rate agents on hajjratings.com so it helps everyone. I recommend afta tours. Also do your homework use google maps so you know exactly where ur hotel will b. may Allah help us on the journeys to his home. Amen.

London, United...
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99 posts
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13. Re: Abbott Travel, Ilford - Never again

Thank you Nasarlatif, I shall rate agents on hajjratings.com. Like many others, I wasn't actually aware of where we can rate hajj and umrah operators. With regards to google maps, that is of no use when the operator gives you the name of a very well known hotel a few steps away from the masjid, but then actually takes you to another hotel 10-15 mins on the other side of the masjid. I'm afraid there is no way of knowing if an operator will cheat you until they do, which is why I decided to share my experience and warn others.

Many people seem to think a hotel 10-15 mins away from the haram is no big deal, but my point is not the distance, its about what we pay for and are promised. As a healthy young person 15 mins of walk made no difference to me, but it was very upsetting to see some of the elderly and a disable person in our group struggle because of the distance.

London, United...
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99 posts
37 reviews
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14. Re: Abbott Travel, Ilford - Never again

Brother Nasarlatif, I just checked hajjratings.com and it only allows ratings for hajj and not umrah. If you're aware of any other sites that allow both please let me know.

Cambridge, United...
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15. Re: Abbott Travel, Ilford - Never again

I travelled by Abbott Travel, quite recently with an Umrah Operator from London. It was the most stressful experience. I was promised 3* hotels but the hotel in Makkah was not even 1*. The hotel rooms were so small with 4 beds that there was no space to open the suitcase or walk around. Fridge was broken and not working. Toilet seats and showers were broken.

Inspite of asking several times I was not given the hotel names. Last minute changes to itinerary which I only came to know when I called him. In short the experience has been very bad. Kindly do not travel with this travel agency.

West Midlands
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16 posts
46 reviews
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16. Re: Abbott Travel, Ilford - Never again

Brother I added my ratings on there when I went to umrah. I don't know of any other collective site. This one is probably your best bet.

London, United...
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1,047 posts
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17. Re: Abbott Travel, Ilford - Never again

Interesting website hajjratings.com. Although the domain name makes you think its just for hajj opertors, some reviews have stated they used services for umrah only.

Not sure how stringent the website owners are about checking reviews cos some reviewers on there have alleged that operators are submitting bogus positive reviews about themselves. Wallahi, how low can one get..??

Reading, United...
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18. Re: Abbott Travel, Ilford - Never again

I booked a ramadhan package and was suppose to on 19th but never got the visa. i used "London Travel and Tours Ltd" and will never recommend it to any one - never ever. I was told that majority of the travel agents never got the visa for ramadhan. The worst part is that they are not refunding back my full amount. They are saying that they will deduct airline cancellation and hotel cancellation fees which does not make sense. As it was not my fault. I booked the package by calling and they never mentioned about any terms and conditions that if the visa does not arrive they will not refund the money. This just came about when i started making noise of getting my money back.

I have sent them legal notice and will be pursuing a claim using the small claim of the HM Court and tribunal service.

Please beware of such situations. This year i have heard that a lot of small companies are not getting visas. So make sure you book your package using a big reputable company and do not go after cheap prices.

London, United...
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19. Re: Abbott Travel, Ilford - Never again

October 2013 update for abbot travel in ilford, Mr Ibrar Shah the owner of the company is a fraud. We a group of 8 people have paid in the excess of £22000 half in august and we gave the other half in September, we were told that we are going to fly out on October the 4th 2013, on the 2nd of October he told us that our visa have been ripped from our passports and gave them back to us with pages missing, saying that he has been conned by a third party who took passports from his agency and 4/5 other agencies as well on a promise to issue the visa in time for October and he is not now answering his phone!, when asking for a refund he is saying that I don't have the money and will pay you soon, looks like we will have to take the legal route to get our money back, its not only us he done this to as there where other angry customers in his office all demanding a refund, we went to Saudi VISA office to check if he was lying and were told by them that on this passport number no VISA has been issued in the first place, from comments on here it looks to me that he does this every year or something, takes the money and then comes out with excuses that its not his fault, insha allah we will get our money back, I thought I'd post a 2013 update on Mr Ibrar Shah and his travel company Abbott travel in ilford, so other brothers and sisters can know what he is really like...

London, United...
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99 posts
37 reviews
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20. Re: Abbott Travel, Ilford - Never again

I'm so sorry to hear that, very heart breaking. I think we need to be proactive and start researching on operators before we book with them and share our experiences more so others can benefit. Unfortunately we think that as these companies provide hajj and umrah services they will be god fearing, but that's not always the case. He always seems to be blaming the poor Saudi authorities for everything and proving himself innocent. I don't know how he expected anyone to believe that we had to travel from madinah to Makkah at night as regulations had changed and we couldn't travel during the day for whatever reason!!

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