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ATOL Protected Holidays

Posted in Holidays on July 18th, 2016

Once again this Friday 15 July 2016 we heard that another Holiday Company had seized trading and was in receivership, leaving large numbers of holiday makers stranded, others having to pay large amounts of money to complete their holidays, future holiday makers worrying if they are going to get their holidays or not.

This is not a new scenario it has occurred many times before and in all honesty is very likely to occur again in the future.

The question has got to be asked “will they ever learn”

ATOL Protected holidaysThe Government and the CAA spent a lot of money promoting the ATOL Protection Scheme, but it seems that there are still large numbers of people who prefer to save a few pounds and take the risk of losing large sums of money and having all the problems and stress when a Tour Operator goes bust. This problem is greatly increased if you are a family or a group that finds yourself stranded abroad.

Let me try and see if I can explain the best way to protect yourself from finding yourself in this situation or at least reduce the cost and the stress if you do end up being stranded. The value of ATOL protection and how it works.

  1. If you are booking a package. Make sure the Tour Operator is ATOL Protected.

The definition of a package must include flights plus other elements eg. Rooms, car hire etc.

At the time of booking, you will be given an ATOL Package Certificate. This will provide evidence that whole package is covered. It will also give details of the flights and all the passengers that are covered.

  1. Flight plus ATOL Certificate.

This is different in that it will cover the flights plus other named items. It may not cover all elements of your holiday.  It may also include a package from another package operator.

  1. Flight only ATOL Certificate.

This is issued when only a flight is booked.

Most people are not aware that when a flight is booked directly with an airline no protection is provided in the event of the airline going bust. This has happened before.

Depending upon which type of ATOL certificate you have, the ATOL holder is responsible for providing alternatives, replacing items that are no longer available or refunding money.

It is worth paying a bit extra to get the peace of mind offered by ATOL Protection.

If you are packaging yourself, that is booking flights from one internet provider or the airline directly and accommodation from another you are not likely to have any protection.