YHA submits plans for London’s first ‘Super Hostel’

YHA submits plans for London’s first ‘Super Hostel’

Tuesday, 25 October 2016 08:00

A planning...

£2.3million immigration hall upgrade plans at Bristol Airport

£2.3million immigration hall upgrade pla…

Monday, 24 October 2016 14:00

Following a major overhaul of the security search area for departing passengers, Bristol Airport has unveiled plans to address congestion in arrivals.

Intrepid targets socially conscious Gen Z with new Geckos age-range

Intrepid targets socially conscious Gen …

Monday, 24 October 2016 11:00

30 year olds will be ‘too old’ for Geckos Adventures next year, as the Intrepid Group has announced that it will cut the age range to meet a growing demand...

New survey reveals just one in 12 Brits manage to wangle an upgrade

New survey reveals just one in 12 Brits …

Monday, 24 October 2016 08:40

New research from Jetcost.co.uk has revealed that only 8% of British travellers have actually managed to secure a free upgrade for their holiday, with flight upgrades and hotel room upgrades...

Just You launches travel trade solo experience

Just You launches travel trade solo expe…

Friday, 21 October 2016 14:00

Just You has announced its largest investment to support the travel trade with the launch of 200 joint marketing events to promote solo travel.

Spontaneous people are happier according to Snaptrip survey

Spontaneous people are happier according…

Friday, 21 October 2016 11:00

Spontaneous people are often believed to lead more exciting or glamorous lifestyles and a new study has confirmed that they are happier in all aspects of their lives.

Top Brighton attractions on Combi-Saver tickets for half term

Top Brighton attractions on Combi-Saver …

Friday, 21 October 2016 09:00

Visitors to Brighton this October half term can save up to 20% on its top three paid-for attractions with combination tickets now available for British Airways i360, SEA LIFE Brighton...

Free cabin upgrades with Cosmos Tours

Free cabin upgrades with Cosmos Tours

Thursday, 20 October 2016 14:00

There still’s time for agents to book a Croisieurope river cruise for their customers with a free cabin upgrade on a range of river cruises throughout Europe, when booked with...

Last minute autumn breaks available at Haven

Last minute autumn breaks available at H…

Thursday, 20 October 2016 11:00

Agents can still give their customers a last minute family break this autumn from £99 when booking a Haven holiday between now and November 5.

Skiers urged to head east for best piste costs reveals new report

Skiers urged to head east for best piste…

Thursday, 20 October 2016 08:00

Cash-conscious skiers can avoid the slippery slope of higher prices for their annual downhill trip by heading to ski resorts in Eastern Europe.

Design an anniversary poster for DFDS competition

Design an anniversary poster for DFDS co…

Wednesday, 19 October 2016 14:00

Ferry operator, DFDS, is putting out a call to professional and amateur artists to create a poster that will be used in their 150th anniversary celebrations this year.

Savings on worldwide adventures with Explore

Savings on worldwide adventures with Exp…

Wednesday, 19 October 2016 11:00

Explore has launched a new collection of worldwide adventures with a launch offer of up to 10% discount on all new trips booked by November 7.

New route to Seattle makes it one to watch for 2017

New route to Seattle makes it one to wat…

Wednesday, 19 October 2016 09:12

Seattle is expected to be one of the fastest growing US destinations for UK travellers next year with a Virgin Atlantic direct non-stop daily flight launching March 2017, new hotel...

Air Transat launches 2017 programme with increased connections across Canada

Air Transat launches 2017 programme with…

Tuesday, 18 October 2016 14:04

Air Transat has expanded its programme of flights from the UK to Canada with increased capacity and connections for travel in 2017.

Oceania Cruises reduces single supplement fares

Oceania Cruises reduces single supplemen…

Tuesday, 18 October 2016 14:02

Oceania Cruises has launched a reduced single supplement promotion for solo travellers, with guests offered single supplements fares from 25% on seven itineraries, booked before December 31.

Mall of America welcomes arrival of MythBusters

Mall of America welcomes arrival of Myth…

Tuesday, 18 October 2016 14:00

Running throughout autumn until January 15, 2017, visitors can ignite their curiosity and discover whether they can really huff and puff to blow a house down; if running in the...

Package holidays booked in the UK have been protected through the ATOL (Air Travel Organisers’ Licensing) scheme for decades, meaning it was implemented at a time when we all booked our holiday from the brochures on the shelves of the nearest travel agent. As internet usage grew, so did the number of holidaymakers packaging their own holidays, or using online travel agents who often sold holidays in such a way that ATOL protection was avoided.

How did the old rules work?
Prior to April 2012, any holiday (which included air travel) that was sold as a package had to be protected through the ATOL scheme. This essentially meant that the operator selling the holiday had to obtain an ATOL licence from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and pay £2.50 per passenger into the Air Travel Trust Fund. If the tour operator ceases trading, this fund is used to refund those customers who had already paid for their holiday, and repatriate those already overseas.
However, this made it relatively easy for internet based travel companies to avoid the red tape and expense of an ATOL licence by selling holidays in a de-packaged way by offering the components separately and acting as an agent rather than the operator. The government has therefore stepped in to change the rules because the majority of British citizens overseas were not protected and following the collapse of large holiday providers such as the XL group in 2008, the fund was running at a deficit of well over £40million.
What has changed?
The most important of the new rules have been implemented in two parts. In April this year the de-packaging loophole was closed and holiday components sold to the same customer must be protected through the ATOL scheme. Holidays sold in this way are known as ‘Flight Plus’ holidays, but the protection is identical to the more traditional package holiday. Then from October 1, 2012, all ATOL protected holidays must have an ATOL Certificate issued to the traveller providing them with proof that they are covered by the scheme.
What has not changed?
Airlines are still exempt from the ATOL scheme, so any flights or holidays booked through an airline will not be ATOL protected. This is because to bring airlines into the scheme requires time-consuming primary legislation and it does not appear to be a government priority.
What it covers
ATOL is not an insurance policy. The legislation only provides protection for customers who are affected when the licensed operator or agent that they have booked through cannot fulfil the holiday due to financial failure. If a customer is overseas when a company collapses, the ATOL fund is there to ensure that they can complete their holiday. If they have not yet left and can not get away they would receive a full refund.
Taking out travel insurance
Separate travel insurance is strongly recommended for any overseas trip. It does not cover tour operator failure, hence the need for ATOL protection, but it does cover costs arising from things like cancellation, delay, loss, theft and personal injury.Travel insurance is included by some employers, selected premium bank accounts and other financial products, but the vast majority of us have to arrange our own cover.

Policies that cover you for your holiday can be taken out for a specific destination for a specific length of time, which usually works out to be the cheapest option if you only take one or two overseas trips a year. An annual multi-trip policy can save you money if you are going overseas more than once. There are also savings to be had if you buy it as a couple or family.
The policies cover things like medical care, lost or stolen baggage and personal belongings, and delays in travel that curtail your trip, but levels of cover vary. If you carry a lot of valuable items such as jewellery, electronic gadgets and expensive clothing you need to make sure that you have adequate cover, while cost can also be affected by age and pre-existing medical conditions.

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