ABTA and ATOL Protection: How Travel Agents Ensure Your Peace of Mind While Exploring the World

By Global Travel Worldwide

As the world of travel returns, customers are asking us how some travel agents are able to be considerably cheaper than others. The answer is that some travel agents are not ABTA or ATOL protected and so booking with them could be a risk in the event something goes wrong while you’re away.

ABTA (Association of British Travel Agents) and ATOL (Air Travel Organiser’s Licence) are both consumer protection schemes in the UK travel industry, but they serve slightly different purposes and offer distinct types of coverage.

Here’s a breakdown of the differences between ABTA and ATOL from a consumer perspective:

ABTA (Association of British Travel Agents):
ABTA is a trade association of travel agents and tour operators in the UK. It aims to provide protection and assistance to consumers when they book their holidays through ABTA members. ABTA primarily covers package holidays and certain other travel arrangements, including accommodations and travel services.

Consumer Benefits:

Financial Protection: If you book a package holiday through an ABTA member and the company goes out of business before your travel, ABTA provides financial protection to ensure you’ll either receive a refund or be able to continue with your holiday.

Code of Conduct: ABTA members are expected to follow a code of conduct that includes certain standards of service and professionalism, providing consumers with a level of assurance when dealing with ABTA-affiliated companies.

Dispute Resolution: ABTA offers a dispute resolution service if you encounter problems with your travel arrangements and cannot reach a resolution with the travel company.

ATOL (Air Travel Organiser’s Licence):
ATOL is a financial protection scheme managed by the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). It specifically focuses on protecting consumers who have booked flights and holiday packages that include flights. ATOL ensures that travellers do not lose money or become stranded abroad if the travel company they booked with goes out of business.

Consumer Benefits:

Flight Protection: ATOL covers flight-based holidays, including flight-inclusive package holidays and some flight-only bookings. If your travel company collapses, ATOL ensures you get a refund if you haven’t yet travelled, and if you’re already abroad, it provides assistance to ensure you can return home without additional costs.

Financial Security: Travel companies that sell ATOL-protected trips are required to hold an ATOL license. This license ensures that if the company faces financial difficulties, there’s a fund in place to refund or repatriate affected travellers.

In summary, the main difference between ABTA and ATOL lies in the types of travel arrangements they cover. ABTA focuses on package holidays and accommodations, providing financial protection and a code of conduct for member travel companies. On the other hand, ATOL specifically covers flight-based holidays, including flight-inclusive package holidays and some flight-only bookings, offering financial protection and assistance to travellers in case of company insolvency. It’s important to look for ABTA or ATOL logos when booking travel to ensure your protection and peace of mind.

For more information, call us today on 01978 350850

For more information call us today on 01978 350850


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