Booking holidays

Vital holiday booking information

Don't get stranded....

Don't incur out of pocket expenses

In light of recent developments in the travel industry and during the credit crunch if you or a member of your family is looking to book a summer or winter holiday make sure you are protected from unforeseen circumstances eg holiday operators going bust.

Holiday Booking - tips, tricks and advice

Vital advice to remember prior to booking your holiday

  • Package holidays - eg a holiday that consists of 2 or more pre-arranged elements (ie flight and accommodation)
    • Always ensure that the travel operator has a bonding scheme or some other form of protection, such as those offered by ATOL, ABTA or AITO. This will give you financial protection and make sure you get home safely if the operator or another business involved in providing your holiday ceases trading or goes bust. Useful tip: if your operator goes bust prior to travelling you should receive a refund
  • Non-package holidays eg if you arrange your flight and accommodation separately
    • Beware if you book directly with an airline or hotel you may have less protection so always check terms the conditions carefully
    • Debit Cards - There is little protection for non-package holidays paid for by debit card. Much will depend on the terms and conditions of the holiday
  • Booking holidays on the internet - Some websites allow you to select multiple elements of your holiday and make a single payment
    • Beware these may not be considered a 'package' holiday and may not provide sufficient protection. Check your terms and conditions of the holiday and look for ATOL, ABTA or AITO membership as you will need to ensure adequate bonding or travel insurance is in place so that you are protected
  • Flight only - Holiday operators are usually required to have measures in place which can allow you a refund of your money and bring you home if you are abroad. This will usually be by way of the ATOL scheme or some form of bond or travel insurance
    • Beware this protection does not apply to flights that are bought directly from an airline
  • Flight prices in excess of £100 - In this case always consider paying with a credit card as this offers you some financial protection. If the airline goes out of business you will usually get a refund on the cost of your tickets from your credit card provider.
    • Beware you may have to pay for and make your own arrangements to get home if you have already flown and you would not be covered for any extra costs such as additional nights in hotels
  • Travel Insurance - Consider buying travel insurance and always look for a policy that covers insolvency or includes supply failure cover. There are a few of these types of policies and they usually promise to provide an alternative holiday or a replacement journey in the event of a travel operator going bust or ceasing to trade.
    • Beware you may have to book and pay for another trip and then claim the costs back from the insurer

If you have injured whilst on holiday find out more as to whether you could be entitled to compensation in holiday accident claims section.

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Nick Harris - Head of International Travel Law - Manchester

Nick Harris
Head of Holiday Travel Claims (Consumer)

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