Grantham expert gives advice on how to make sure your holiday is protected
If you book your holiday with a travel agent rather than booking it yourself online, then your holiday will be ABTA and ATOL protected.
This is not always the case if you book yourself, particularly if you book each element of your package separately. Your flights may be covered but your accommodation and your transfers may not.
ABTA and ATOL are mentioned an awful lot when it comes to holidays, but what do they actually mean?
ATOL stands for Air Travel Organiser’s License. UK Law states your holiday must be protected if you book a package holiday. ATOL is a UK financial protection scheme, and it applies to most air package holidays sold by UK travel businesses.
The law says your holiday must be protected if you book a holiday with a single travel firm that includes flights and accommodation, or flights and car hire, or flights, accommodation, and car hire.
Every UK travel company that sells overseas holidays and flights is required to hold a license in case an operator ceases trading. It is in place to ensure that you as the customer will be looked after in case a company cancels your holiday or leaves you stranded overseas. It can provide full refunds or ensure you are able to finish your holiday and return home safely.
ABTA is the Association of British Travel Agents. It is a trade association for tour operators and travel agents designed to enforce standards and provide insurance for holidaymakers in the event of financial problems for travel companies.
Essentially it means that if the travel company that you booked your holiday with goes out of business, you will be entitled to a refund. If you are abroad your transport home will be covered.
The major difference between ATOL and ABTA is that ATOL is specifically designed to cover people who book flights, while ABTA covers rail, road, or sea travel holidays.
However, neither of these replace the need for travel insurance, which should be in place when you book your holiday, even if you are holidaying in the UK.