Holiday Booking Check list
We all look forward to our holidays, and often they can cost a considerable amount of money; the Consumer Council has compiled a holiday booking check list, to keep you and your holiday booking safe;
Financial Protection for your Holiday
Before booking you should check whether your flight or holiday package is ATOL protected and don’t leave home without your ATOL Certificate
- ATOL (the Air Travel Organisers Licence) is a financial protection scheme for air passengers. If you book an ATOL protected holiday or charter flight and your tour operator, airline or accommodation provider goes out of business before you travel you can claim a full refund.
- If a service provider goes out of business while you are abroad, you will be able to continue your holiday and arrangements will be made for you to fly home once the holiday is over.
- Jersey residents must be aware that ATOL only protects packages or flights, which originate in the UK ñ always check with your tour company/travel agent regarding ATOL protection and eligibility.
Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) Protection
- Many Jersey residents will enjoy the FlyDirect options (and ferry packages) now available from Jersey; it should be noted that these are not eligible for ATOL protection (as described above).
- However, such packages and flights would be financially protected as long as the company with whom you make your travel contract in Jersey is bonded with ABTA (and they are current members).
- ABTA includes protection both in the event of failure of the tour operator prior to departure, in which case deposit/balances paid would be refunded, and for repatriation in the event of tour operator failure whilst clients are abroad.
Financial protection if you are not covered by ATOL
o If your flight is not ATOL protected, you should ensure your travel insurance policy provides cover in the event that the airline goes out of business. Take out travel insurance adequate for your destination, activities and everyone in your party.
o If you buy a ticket using a credit card and the airline goes out of business, you may be able to claim a refund from your credit card company under the Consumer Credit Act. The cost of a single (i.e. one leg) ticket must be at least £100.
Other Holiday booking pointers;
- Double check all details such as travel dates, itineraries, destinations and travellers before confirming payment, as you may be charged for amendments
- Do not reply to unsolicited emails from companies you don’t recognise.
- If renting a private apartment or villa, call the owner/agent directly to ensure that it is legitimate. If the number is not provided, email and request it. Check reviews on TripAdvisor or similar site. Get the full address of the property and find it on Google maps to check its location and legitimacy.
- Ensure that any holiday or travel company unfamiliar to you is reputable by researching them online. Ensure that they are a member of a recognised travel authority which offers financial protection and a complaints service.
- When making a payment to an individual, never transfer the money directly into their bank account but use a secure payment site such as PayPal, where money is transferred between two electronic accounts.
Put your travel insurance in place sufficiently ahead of your trip to make sure that you benefit from all of the cover. Channel Islanders are advised to make sure that the element covering missed flights and missed connections includes the flights to and from home.
The medical cover needs to be adequate to help pay medical bills; £2 million medical cover is advised by Which for just Europe and £5 million for worldwide. but do check what counts as Europe or Worldwide by your insurance company.
We usually travel with many of our gadgets and you should consider cover for these too whilst traveling, you may need to extend your home insurance to cover as single items on your travel policy may only be covered for £250.
A good travel insurance policy should provide cover for Illness, injury or death while you are away, to allow you to be repatriated. Illness or the unexpected can interrupt travel plans therefore it is advisable to check the cancellation provisions – how much are you covered for in the event of the holiday being cancelled by unexpected events e.g. illness. You must declare pre-existing medical conditions – as otherwise your cover will be voided.
Check that the policy covers
- Liability for accidents involving others;
- The airline going out of business;
- Natural disasters, natural events e.g. volcanic ash cloud and severe weather;
- Political instability;
- Security risks.
If you plan to enjoy risky activities whilst away you should say so to make sure that you are covered for risky activities, for example skiing, scuba diving or climbing.
And finally you may be better to buy an annual policy rather than single trip cover plus READ THE SMALL PRINT…always check what isn’t covered.