Pilgrims sue travel agency – The Standard Newspaper


Muslim pilgrims perform the final walk (Tawaf al-Wadaa) around the Kaaba at the Grand Mosque in the Saudi holy city of Mecca on November 30, 2009. The annual Muslim hajj pilgrimage to Mecca wound up without the feared mass outbreak of swine flu, Saudi authorities said, reporting a total of five deaths and 73 proven cases. AFP PHOTO/MAHMUD HAMS (Photo credit should read MAHMUD HAMS/AFP/Getty Images)

By Momodou Torp

Six pilgrims who took part in the last hajj have dragged Alpha Travel Agency to the consumer protection tribunal seeking redress for what they alleged was great discomfort and failed promises.

But the case could not proceed yesterday due to a delay in serving the key players, including the Hajj Commission which would have allowed prosecution witness 2 to appear and testify.

In the interim, when the case was called at the Bundung Magistrates’ Court, NST Baldeh and P.K Njie appeared for the respondent while the claimant was not represented.
“This is the third time the witness is not appearing before the court for not receiving the service document. I will allow him (witness) the last chance to appear otherwise I will apply for the matter to proceed and will rather ask for the court to caution the plaintiff to ensure the services are effective,” the magistrate said.

According to the particulars of the case in May 2018, each of the claimants paid D252, 000 to the respondent for the hajj package and they travelled in three groups.

“The advertisement published by the respondent which constitutes the general terms of the contract between the two parties included round trip tickets from Banjul to Madina and from Jeddah to Banjul by air, land transportation in Mecca and Medina, feeding and accommodation.”

It added that to the dismay of the complainants, the promises made by the respondent were misrepresented.

The pilgrims claimed their lodging in Senegal, Mbour was not well arranged or comfortable as they had to literally walk around with their luggage looking for available rooms in different lodges.

They further alleged that “most of the rooms were not up to standard as they were not clean enough.”