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It is my first time going for Hajj, I don’t know which package to choose; Can you help me?

Well first congratulation on making your decision in making Hajj this year. May Allah (SWT) accept from you, Amin. Second, choosing a Hajj package not only with Falcon Travel but with any Hajj provider is very easy. First, you need to know that there is nothing called right or wrong when choosing a Hajj package, there is defiantly a better Hajj provider to go with…Hajj is a sacred journey between you and Allah (SWT) that is why it MUST suit you and your needs, for you to focus on your Ibada time. Therefore, these are some questions which you have to answer that will help you decide which package and which company to go with.

Before Selecting the Hajj Provider/Hajj Company, ask yourself:

  1. Do I want to go to Makkah First, or Medina First?
  2. Am I interested in a concise package (less than two weeks), or a shorter package (two weeks +/- a couple of days), or a long package (17 days and above)?
  3. In Mina, for 3 days can I walk for 4 KM going and 4 KM back in the heat and the crowd or not?

Makkah First packages seem to be more effort than Medina first, but it is enjoyable as you start with Umrah, then you rest then you start Hajj. The length of the package can affect the price (the shorter the package is in most cases, the more expensive it is…Hajj is unlike Umrah; the Hotels have different prices for different periods in Makkah, the closest you are from the time of Hajj, the more expensive it is). Your ability to walk determines which company to check first…as in Canada there are only four companies provide camps across of Jamarat (Falcon Travel manages two of these companies), the rest are in the North American camp which is 4 kilos away from Jamarat.

Now you know, If you want to start Makkah first, or Medina first… you also know how long you want your package to be (Regular, Express, or Long)…and you know if you will be looking within four companies that offer camps across of Jamarat in Mina or the rest of the companies in Canada.

Now when looking at the different Hajj providers / Hajj companies, Ask these questions:

  1. Are you licensed to be conducting Hajj from Canada or not? Click Here to find out which companies are authorized. Any company that is NOT authorized to conduct Hajj business in Canada is a fraud and signing up with them is a huge risk (in 2014 over 3000 Hajis from Canada didn’t go for Hajj and lost a lot of their money because they signed up with companies that aren’t authorized to provide Hajj from Canada)
  2. Is your camp across of Jamarat in Mina or is it among the North American camps? This question will help you to know if the packages the company has suit you or not. (e.g. for example if you are looking for camps across of Jamarat and the company in North American camps there is no point knowing about their packages, as they don’t suit you)
  3. Now time to ask the package questions; Do you have a package that is within (the duration you chose in the first set of questions)? (e.g. if you are looking for an express package, and the company doesn’t have express packages, there is no point of hearing the full presentation of what they have)
  4. If they have the duration you want, ask Does it start with Makkah first, or Medina first? The reason you leave this question to the end is that if all the above three questions suit you and this one doesn’t suit you (it doesn’t matter) it is a good feature to start with the city you prefer but not a MUST. So if you like everything about the package except that the packages don’t start with the city you like, you may think of sacrificing this part
  5. Finally, ask about the price of the package? And what isn’t included in the price? Knowing what is included, is not as important as knowing what is NOT included. Surprises are the worth thing that can happen during Hajj

Once you have gathered this information, try to ask other Hajis who went with this group to be able to determine if they are good or if someone else is better. Which Hotels and What airline are not important in Hajj as all the airlines will get you to Saudi Arabia the difference will be in the level of service which you enjoy 11 hours out of your whole trip. And having Hotels across of the Haram is a nice feature, and it comes handy especially with Hajis that have diabetes or with a special need but again not as important as what we mentioned above.

May Allah (SWT) guide you to the best Hajj provider, and Hajj package that suit you, and May you have a safe an unforgettable journey to Hajj. Amin.

How many stops will we have when flying for Hajj?

It is a policy in Falcon Travel to eliminate the number of stops when booking Hajj airline tickets. The reason for that is we want to ensure that your trip starts with a good airline experience, also in case of any delays with the airline flying schedule; the fewer stops there are on your flying route, the easier it is to deal with it. Therefore, from Toronto and Montreal, we offer 1 stop, from West Canada we offer 2 stops. The reason we don’t offer 1 stop from West Canada, because all of our Hajj packages start with Medina First, and there isn’t any airline currently flying from West Canada that offers 1 stop to reach Medina.

It is my first time going for Hajj, a lot of family members and friends recommended to go for the shortest package and later I can go for Umra to enjoy my stay in Saudi Arabia. Which package is better the shorter or the longer package?

There is NO good, or better when choosing your Hajj package. A Hajj package is only good if it suits YOUR schedule at the end of the day it is your Hajj experience and you are the only decision maker of how you want to experience it. From our experience the short packages are designed for Hajis who have performed Hajj before and wish to perform Hajj again OR Hajis which Hajj became a Fareda on them “Once a person can afford to go to Hajj, Hajj becomes a Fareda on this person. And it is a SIN not to perform Hajj at least once if you can afford it” but they can’t afford to spend so many days due to family or work obligations here in Canada. Longer packages are designed to relax the Hajis and get them well prepared to perform Hajj before the days of Hajj. In summary; if you can afford to stay for a longer period of time, then your best choice will be always the longer package, that doesn’t mean you will be paying more as there are lots of shorter packages and more expensive.

I was thinking to perform Hajj this year, but for some personal reasons I am thinking to delay it until next year. Is this a personal preference or do I have to go this year?

Hajj is the fifth pillar of ISLAM, same as praying and fasting…when there is an Islamic allowed excuse i.e. a person is sick, this person can skip fasting and redo it again when they become better. Performing Hajj follow the same Sharia law, the one Islamic allowed excuse not to perform Hajj at least once in a lifetime is only (AFFORDABILITY) health wise AND / OR financial wise. Once a person’s health allows them to go for Hajj, and he/she can afford the cheapest Hajj package in the country of residence, Hajj becomes a MUST on them, and they sin by skipping Hajj for other reasons such as (I want to go VIP but can’t afford it now, I want to go with my friend, I want to go with my favorite Imam,…etc) . We recommend speaking to your Imam to analyze your situation and advice you if Hajj is now a MUST on you or not.

I heard that when going to Hajj I must not have any loans on me, I can afford to go to Hajj but I have my mortgage or my student loan. What shall I do?

We recommend speaking to your Imam to analyze your circumstances and to give you accurate advice on what loans can you have and still be able to go for Hajj, and what loans you MUST pay in full before you go for Hajj.

When is the last day to sign up for Hajj?

The Hajj visas in Canada are limited and based on a quota assigned to certain authorized companies. Since the big Hajj fraud which took place in 2014, over 3000 Canadian Hajis couldn’t go for Hajj because of some companies promising them cheaper packages and couldn’t deliver. Therefore there is a big demand this year on all respected, authorized companies. As far as Falcon goes we think we will be sold out inshaa Allah by March so we recommend you register as soon as possible so you don’t miss out. This year’s reservations will be based on first come, first serve base.

Can I register my name now, and pay you later on?

We were able to do that in the previous years, but this year the signing up process is based on first come first serve, so those who complete the registration process, will guarantee their seats. We have also found that with our installments plan, everyone is able to pay bit by bit until the package is full paid off.

How do I know that I am registered for Hajj with Falcon Travel?

If you finalize the registration process with one of our Falcon’s sales representatives, that means you are guaranteed a seat with Falcon Travel. Without finalizing the Hajj registration process including (Filling the Hajj reservation sheet, Signing the Hajj Terms & Conditions, Providing a copy of your current passport, Paying the agreed on initial deposit) you are NOT registered as a confirmed Haji in Falcon’s Hajj reservation system, but you are registered as a potential client in the system. Falcon has 4 branches across Canada, with over 8 different sales representatives, so the Hajj reservation system accepts registrations based on the number of confirmed reservations vs the number of allocations determined for each program, and not the number of potential clients.

I heard that some Hajis who were not Canadian citizen, but they have a valid PR card and couldn’t go to Hajj in 2014, will I have a problem?

Up until now, the rules of the Ministry of Hajj and the Embassy of Saudi Arabia in Ottawa indicates that a person with a Machine Readable Passport and a valid PRC can go for Hajj. But that is not a guarantee because the Ministry of Hajj and the Embassy of Saudi Arabia are the only authorities holding the right to grant or reject a Hajj visa with or without a reason. We don’t think you will have any problem as we have never had this problem before and we had a lot of PR card holders in Hajj 2014 who were able to travel with the group, but if you are concerned you are more than welcome to purchase Cancellation and Interruption Insurance for Hajj.

What is the Mutawif Fee/Hajj Draft?

Hajj draft is also known as “Tawafa Fee”, it is a fee enforced by the Ministry of Hajj on each person goes for Hajj even the Hajj providers. A portion of this fee is used to maintain Mina, Arafat, and Muzdalifa, and the other portion is used to cover a portion of the Transportation in Saudi Arabia. This Draft is required to obtain a Hajj visa from Canada, so you pay us to make this payment on your behalf in Saudi Arabia and then when we return your passport to you with the visa, we also put a sticker on the back of the passport with a barcode that we received from Saudi Arabia confirming receiving your money.

Can I do my own Qurbani “Sacrifice” in Saudi Arabia?

No, not with Falcon Travel. The reason for that is in order for you as a Haji to go and slaughter your own Qurbani at the animal slaughter house, you will have to walk around 3 Kilos in Mina under the heat where Transportation is not available, then line up with thousands of other Hajis who decide to slaughter their own animal, then go through the process of slaughtering the animal, and then return to our Mina camp. This process could take up to 15 hours under the heat, so it is not safe, and also you will be missing going with the group to Makkah to perform Tawaf Al Ifada on the 10th of Thul Hijjah. So for these safety reasons Falcon Travel decided not to offer this as an option to the Hajis.

Which airline does Falcon use for my package?

Our airline department will send the airline itinerary to all airlines with minimum stops along the way to Saudi Arabia. Since there is no difference in the Hajj ticket price as during the Hajj season high season rates apply, We choose the airline that best suits your package days. Our main goal is for you to get the most out of your package, but the hotels’ bookings use the Hijri Calendar, and the airlines use the Gregorian calendar, so we do our best to combine both for your benefit. That is why we always write traveling dates are tentative based on the airline’s confirmation.

I am a Canadian citizen or a Canadian Permanent Resident but I currently live outside of Canada, and wish to perform Hajj with a Canadian group. Can I join in from the country which I am in now? Will I also be saving money?

Yes you can. here is the procedure;

  1. At the time of obtaining the visa, you will be contacted by our visa specialist to give you instructions of how you will get the documents to us to get you the Hajj visa from Canada.
  2. We will be discounting $1800 CAD from the package price for your ticket cost.
  3. We will buy your ticket from the country which you are currently staying at to Saudi Arabia, or you can buy your own ticket as long as you arrive the same date your group is arriving on to Saudi Arabia.
  4. Our staff will meet you at the Saudi Airport (Medina Airport, or Jeddah Airport depending on the package) and then will escort you to your hotel that is where you will join your group and complete Hajj with them.
  5. Once Hajj is over, you will be escorted to Jeddah’s Airport for final departure.

That been said, at Falcon Travel we always give priority to Hajis who are currently in Canada or will be traveling out of Canada. The reason we do so is that they Hajis start their trip with a group leader and a full group traveling together, entering Saudi Arabia together and that makes the operation for the Hajis so much easier than an individual going for the first time, not knowing what to expect.

Can I visit my country or any other country as a part of my Hajj package?

Yes, side trips are allowed as it is after Hajj. The reason Falcon Travel prefers side trips to be after Hajj, is so you can arrive with the Group to Hajj, and also usually Tickets during Hajj season are very expensive but when we get them in bulk we get a better deal than getting a single ticket. That is why we highly recommend that if you don’t have an urgent reason to travel before Hajj, then delay your side trip until after Hajj.