Learn about ATOL
ATOL protects you from losing your money or being stranded abroad. It does this by carrying out checks on the tour operators and travel organisers it licenses, and requiring them to take part in a financial guarantee scheme managed by the Air Travel Trust (ATT) which provides the funds to protect customers should a firm fail. In some cases, a licence holder will also provide a bond, which is lodged with the ATT and provides additional funds.
If a tour operator goes out of business, the CAA will ensure you do not lose the money you paid over, or if you are abroad, we will arrange for you to finish your holiday and fly home.
Risk of DIY holidays
Many holidaymakers now plan so-called “DIY holidays”, where you bring together holiday flights and accommodation from different suppliers, such as from airlines and hotel bed-banks. However, despite what many people believe these holidays are not protected in the way a holiday package bought from a single holiday company would be, under the ATOL Scheme.
If you book your travel arrangements.
Booking on-line with separate suppliers may seem like a cheap option, but if for example an airline were to stop flying, you would have to make your own arrangements to get home and you could pay considerably more. You may also have to curtail or increase your stay in order to get available flights.
Should an airline fail and you have yet to travel on your holiday you may have difficulties getting to the accommodation you booked separately. If you cannot reach your destination, you may lose the money you paid and if there are last minute alternative flights these may not operate on the same day and are likely to be more expensive.
Also consider what if you have paid a 50% deposit to a fishing lodge, guides / accommodation and they go insolvent, just how difficult is it going to be to try and get a full refund for your money?