We are proud to say that your holiday with Skiworld is ABTA and ATOL protected. However, many holidaymakers may not know exactly what this means, or just why it is so important.
Monday 2nd October’s high profile failure of Monarch has caused many holiday makers to look again at the issue of financial protection for package holidays.
The figures are big: Monarch is the UK’s fifth biggest airline and the country’s largest ever to collapse. It employed around 2,100 people and there are an estimated 110,000 holiday makers currently overseas.
The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has called the situation ‘unprecedented’ and the regulator is effectively having to create one of the UK’s largest airlines from scratch in order to repatriate all those affected. It is an enormous undertaking, the largest repatriation in peacetime according to Chris Grayling the transport secretary. Those on a package holiday with Monarch however will not be paying anything extra for their flights home. This is covered by the ATOL scheme.
Monarch also has 750,000 future bookings for a combination of flights and package holidays which have also been cancelled amounting to a large amount of disappointment and upset, not to mention the possible financial losses for those not covered by the ATOL scheme.
In many respects the UK package travel industry is unique in that bonded travel companies offer protection for package holidays in the event of a company failing.
It simply falls to us, the travelling public, to make a few small checks to ensure the company we are travelling with is indeed protected.
Do you know what to look out for, so you never get caught out?
ATOL stands for Air Travel Organisers License which is a UK government scheme run by the CAA. It covers flight-based package holidays and protects around 20 million holidaymakers a year.
If companies with an ATOL go under and you have booked a package holiday with them, you are protected. This means that if you are on holiday when this happens ATOL makes sure you finish your break and get home as planned. If you have not travelled, ATOL will make sure you get a full refund and in some cases you may be able to continue with the holiday you had booked.
Companies that are ATOL protected will issue you with an ATOL certificate immediately after you have paid which you need to keep safe, just in case. This is the proof that the holiday or flight that you have booked is protected. If you buy a land or sea based package (travelling via rail or when hiring a car) ATOL will not cover you financially so you need to check that the travel company you purchase through is a member of ABTA.
ABTA, the Association of British Travel Agents, is the UK’s largest travel association and members consist of both tour operators and travel agents. Members abide by a code of conduct which helps ensure high standards and also provides recourse should your holiday arrangements go wrong.
Importantly, if an ABTA company fails you are entitled to a refund if you are yet to travel and hotel and transport costs if you are abroad when it happens.
So bear in mind, you may find package holiday prices cheaper with a non-bonded company, but there is a good reason for that; your money may be at risk. And when you book fights on their own – check what protection you do have.
When travelling with Skiworld you have the peace of mind of knowing your money and your package holiday are protected. If you are on holiday and anything happens, we guarantee you will be able to finish your holiday and come home.
The only risk you take is that you may not actually want to come back…