Financial protection for holidaymakers could be expanded

If you book your travel arrangements such as flights or hotels separately you don’t have the same financial protection as you do when you book a package holiday. However, this situation may be set to change according to the travel organisation ABTA.

More than a year on since the holiday company XL Leisure Group collapsed. Nearly 300,000* people were affected by the collapse – either abroad or booked to travel. Most had booked a package and were protected by ATOL (Air Travel Organisers’ Licensing). However, there were around 10,000* XL customers who’d booked a flight through the holiday company and were unprotected. Other companies which have gone bust include the airlines Zoom and Silverjet.
* Source – Telegraph Oct 09

The proposed new scheme, which is being discussed with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and the Department for Transport, could see travel agents safeguarding the money of people who book hotels and flights separately.

An ABTA spokeswoman says: “We have been lobbying for this for some time because of the gap in financial protection for consumers.”

According to a spokesman for the CAA, further progress should be announced soon. “We have been liaising closely with ABTA and others in the industry in advance of the Government’s proposed consultation on reforming the ATOL scheme, which we expect before the end of the year.”

Until this scheme comes in to action, the best way of making sure your money is protected is by booking your holiday with a fully bonded ABTA or AITO tour operator and pay with a credit card. It might cost a little more, but your money will be protected. For more information check the Consumer Direct website.

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** The business being wound up or carried on by a Liquidator or the Receiver

Great value holiday insurance!
You can purchase great value holiday insurance direct at 24/7 travel insurance. For a ‘Premier cover’ 3-day break in Europe, will cost you just £7.33† – a small price to pay to really relax and enjoy your holiday all the more!

Premium £7.33 includes Insurance Premium Tax based on an individual aged under 55 taking out a ‘Premier’ Single-trip 24/7 travel insurance policy for 3 days in Europe excluding personal possessions cover and purchased within 14 days of departure date. Cover details and prices are correct at time of going to press (November 2009) and are subject to change.