With Thomas Cook sadly going under yesterday, it had me thinking of all those poor holidaymakers that are currently abroad or having their prebooked holidays cancelled and how upsetting a time this is, but how glad they must be that they are fully protected under the ATOL scheme which Thomas Cook were luckily a part of..
Consumers are protected in many ways with certain rights against unfair trading tactics and rules, however if a company goes bust, they don’t have a legal entity to claim against or sue to get their money back. So consumers are put in the awkward position of waiting until the company is fully wound up to receive, at best, a percentage of the money they are owed.
However, in the case of package travel, consumers must be fully protected from such things happening due to the Package Travel and Linked Travel Arrangements Regulations 2018 they require businesses to fully protect your clients’ holiday investment ensuring that they don’t lose out if the worst happens.
The key wording that the regulation has used leaves many different interpretations to be true, although you may or may not be offering a flight and hotel to your customers; you offer arrangements which are linked. Linked travel arrangements can be anything from your standard flight + hotel, to any mixture of accommodation, food, travel, activities, training or excursions which means many ‘retreats’ and even some day trips could fall into this category.
Comply with the above, check out the full guidance in the link below, get a proper contract in place to cover you fully (we’re biased we know), and get in touch if you have any questions!
Ensure you are careful with who you book with, certain booking agents will claim to be just this, and that you must enter into contracts directly with suppliers. Ensure you read all the documentation carefully when it is sent to you and that you are happy with it before you sign on the dotted line.