Home > About Us > Expert Panel > Legal Advice

Ask the experts

Fashion and beauty advice

Financial advice

Health advice

Legal advice

Relationship advice

Winter sports advice

Insurance advice

Buying travel insurance

Watch our video featuring expert advice on buying travel insurance.

Reader's tip

"Make sure you check the nitty gritty detail of a cheap travel insurance policy. Don't get caught out for the sake of a few pounds."
Michael White, Bristol

Holiday legal advice

Michael Imperato

Michael Imperato is a partner at the Cardiff office of Russell Jones and Walker, one of the UK's leading legal firms.

An Expert
in accident and travel

He is an expert in accidents and injury, education and travel claims, representing claimants in a number of high profile cases.

legal expert

Read Michael's tips on buying travel insurance

Michael has lectured and written on specialist aspects of Personal Injury law such as travel law and sports injuries; is secretary of APIL Wales; a is member of the Law Society Personal Injury panel, ATLA, PEOPIL and the Travel and Tourism Lawyers Association.

Your questions answered:

I haven’t been to an Arab country before and understand that Dubi is very strict about things like kissing in public -- is there anything I need to be aware of? I am going with my boyfriend later this year.

When travelling aboard you need to be aware of local customs and sensibilities. This is particularly so on travelling in countries which do not have an obviously western culture. Before travelling buy or look through a good guide book. Another source of useful information is the foreign office web site www.fco.gov.uk. There have been some high profile cases of Britons’ falling afoul of local laws when fraternizing in public so this is an issue which you need to look into.

I have only got three months left of my passport am I ok to travel or should I apply for a new one?

In a word, yes. Some countries require a passport to have 6 months or even 12 months left on it. This even includes some EU counties. Belgium requires 6 months to be left on the passport before expiration. Some countries have further visa requirements and a passport alone is not enough, for example, the USA. Best cause of action is to check the foreign office web site at www.fco.gov.uk and look at the helpful section entitled travelling and living abroad.

My son who is seventeen booked a return flight and travelled by himself with a tour operator. The out bound flight was fine but when he checked in two hours prior for his departure flight, he was told he could not fly on that flight as he did not confirm his return. What legal advice do you have for him?

If this was a package holiday, through a tour operator then I would have expected arrangements in respect of the return flight to have been sorted out by the tour operator and your son should look to the tour operator for compensation. However, I suspect that what has actually happened here is that your son has booked a scheduled or budget airline flight himself or via a travel agent. The situation is then different. If it was a term of the contract of the booking that he should confirm his return - and it often is - then he is at fault and is at the mercy of the goodwill (or not) of the airline. His position in this regards all depends on the small print of the booking conditions. People should always read this.

I have recently purchased a Holiday (flights and villa rental) from a reputable company using its website. It was a very competitive price and quite a bargain. I have paid in full with a credit card and received a confirmation of the itinerary by email showing all of the details booked and all of the monies due paid. Looking back at the website now I am sure that the price I have paid is too low. Can the company cancel this holiday or expect me to pay the website price now stated? If the website displayed the wrong price or calculated it incorrectly surely this is an error on their part and my Holiday price is safe? My confirmation email is as I booked it at the time and contains all of the components that I purchased.

Much will depend on the terms and conditions of the holiday company. If there is no clause reserving the right to cancel at short notice and or change terms of the contract agreed the company is probably stuck with the price you have paid.