There has been a lot of press coverage lately about package holiday companies ‘struggling’. Their sales are reported to be down, booking down and profit warnings up. So what does that mean for you as someone who has either booked a package holiday already or looking to book one?
There are a number of travel companies in the UK that offer package holidays. Some of the high street brands, such Thomas Cook, TUI, First Choice (owned by TUI) and the online Jet2 Holidays.
In addition of course there are more bespoke companies offering holidays with specific itineraries or locations.
You should look out for a holiday that is marked ‘ATOL protected’. ATOL stands for Air Travel Organisers Licence and is a government run protection scheme operated by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). Think of it like the protected you get up to a certain amount of savings on your UK bank account.
ATOL covered package holidays that include hotels and maybe flights. When you book a holiday you will get an ATOL certificate, like a car insurance policy. In the even that the company fails and you can no longer go on the holiday you will be entitled to a refund for the cost of the holiday.
It does not cover any additional costs, such as airport hotels or taxis that you may have booked in preperation for your holiday.
In the event of the company going bust, you would need to request a refund via the ATOL scheme. You would need tore-book but at least you are safe in the knowledge that your money will be returned.