Conversely, it is generally more difficult to reach a firm view on the value of a holiday where things have gone wrong. Sometimes an arithmetical approach can be adopted; by comparing the value of purchasing a holiday with and without the component parts; eg the price of the holiday with four-star accommodation (what he bargained for), compared with a three-star hotel (what he got). Evidence of comparable holidays from brochures and hotel price lists is invaluable here.
Difficulties arise where some facilities were absent, while some were substandard; such situations require a more subjective (and so more precarious) assessment of what the holiday provided was really worth. Use of brochures/price lists will be of only limited value, especially where the problems were numerous and varied.
Where evidence is lacking, the best approach is to try to assess the value of each component part of the holiday (eg accommodation makes up around 40 to 50 per cent of the cost of a typical holiday to Spain, according to the Federation of Tour Operators). Then, depending on whether the component was absent or just substandard, assess what percentage of that component the claimant actually received. So if the accommodation was not provided at all (as in Duthie v Thomson Holidays  CLY 1058), the diminution in value will be 100 per cent of 40-50 per cent of the cost of the holiday. Effectively, the claimant should receive about 50 per cent of his money back. While this may seem low (and somewhat out of kilter with some of the reported cases), he will also be entitled to all his consequential losses, in particular, his distress and disappointment and physical inconvenience losses.
Loss of a good holiday deal
Where a consumer purchases a holiday at a knocked-down price, and the tour operator subsequently cancels the holiday before he goes, or the holiday is not up to standard, the consumer will be able to recover the benefit of his bargain. In Hartman v P&O Cruises Ltd  CLY 3732, the claimant bought a 12-day cruise at a low fare of £858. The defendant cancelled the cruise the day before departure. The court held the claimant was entitled to the cost of going on a comparable cruise. As the market price for a comparable cruise was £2270, he was entitled to recover this amount.
Distress and disappointment
Jarvis v Swan Tours Ltd  QB 233 and Jackson v Horizon Holidays  3 All ER 92 recognised in English law that holiday cases fall into an exception to the general rule that distress and disappointment losses are not recoverable for breach of contract.
The very object of the holiday contract is to provide pleasure, relaxation and peace of mind to the consumer. When the tour operator fails to provide what the contract called for, whether that was a reasonable standard of accommodation (Lynes & Graham v Airtours  CLY 1773), hygienic food and drink (Duffy v First Choice Holidays  4 QR 8), facilities such as a children’s swimming pool (Hind v Evergreen Travel Services  CLY 1430) or indoor sports activities (Jervis v Kuoni Travel Ltd  CLY 3733), the consumer may recover damages for the distress and disappointment of not being provided with them.
While the size of the award varies according to the individual facts, the more expensive the holiday, the larger the award is likely to be (see Coughlan v Thomson Holidays  CLY 4276). Likewise, the less the breach seems to have affected the claimant, the less the award is likely to be (Pegramm v Style Holidays Ltd  CLY 1383). Here, a defendant may wish to make use of the claimant’s holiday photos to show he does not seem to have had too unpleasant a time.
In line with most other claims for non-pecuniary loss, reference should be made to comparable cases. While there are no JSB guidelines or Kemp & Kemp equivalents available, use can be made of the case finder. Unfortunately, with only a patchwork of reported cases, no case is likely to be ‘on all fours’ with an authority, thereby necessitating a ‘broad-brush’ approach.
Where, as a result of some failure by the tour operator, the consumer incurs additional expenses, these should be recoverable, subject to the rule of remoteness and so long as the expenses were reasonably incurred. In Crump v Inspiration East Ltd  CLY 1771 the claimant recovered the cost of hiring a taxi when the transfer bus to and from the airport did not show up. Likewise, in Martin v Travel Promotions Ltd  CLY 3821 the claimant’s connecting flight was delayed, causing him to miss his flight back to the UK. He recovered the cost of the telephone calls he had to make to the UK to sort out another flight.