A Guide to ATOL & TTA Holiday Protection

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A Guide to ATOL & TTA Holiday Protection

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Following the news this week that Lowcostholidays group went bust leaving thousands of travellers stranded abroad we thought it would be useful to explain to our customers exactly what bonding Planet Kitesurf Holidays have in place to protect you. All our holidays with flights are covered by ATOL and TTA, and our holidays that do not include flights are still covered by our TTA protection, which means that you are 100% financially protected when you book your holiday with us. So what does that mean exactly for your holiday financial protection?

ATOL

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Planet Kitesurf are part of Planet Travel Ltd, we have ATOL (Air Travel Organiser’s License) bonding and our ATOL number is T7314. By law, every UK travel company which sells air holidays and flights in the UK is required to hold an ATOL.  If for any reason a travel company with an ATOL ceases trading, the ATOL scheme protects customers who had booked holidays with that firm. It ensures they do not get stranded abroad or lose money. The scheme is designed to reassure consumers that their money is safe, and will provide assistance in the event of a travel company failure.

ATOL was first introduced in 1973, as the popularity of overseas holidays grew. After a number of travel company failures left people stranded, the UK Government realised consumers required protection should firms in the unregulated travel sector fall into difficulties. The scheme was designed to cover charter flights and package holidays, and functioned well for years. However, the holiday market has changed considerably and a rise in online booking means many people now book the components of their holidays separately. As a result, changes were made to the ATOL scheme in April 2012. It now covers all overseas air holidays where a flight and accommodation have been booked together. It also covers some flights booked separately, and applies in some other circumstances too.

ATOL protection does not apply to holidays and travel services which exclude flights, for which protection is afforded by our membership of the Travel Trust Association.

TTA

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Planet Windsurf have been a TTA (Travel Trust Association) member since October 2001. Every TTA member deposits your money into the Trust Account, this happens directly following your booking. A Trust Account is a bank account designated to hold the customer’s money. Your money remains in the Trust Account and is supervised by an appointed trustee who is either a banker, chartered or certified accountant or a solicitor. Both the Travel Trust Association members and the trustee are required to authorise payments from the trust account. In addition to being held in trust, you also have a financial guarantee from the Travel Trust Association.

TTA will guarantee the financial obligation of its members up to a maximum any one passenger of £11,000. So if you paid £2,000 the TTA guarantee they will reimburse the loss of the £2,000, where it is not available for you from the Trust Account. Therefore, the Trust Account plus the guarantee will ensure that all the money which you have paid is safely protected and available to reimburse the money paid. When you make a booking, you will be supplied with a guarantee certificate. Should the TTA member become insolvent, in most instances your money will still be held within the TTA member’s Trust Account by the designated Trustee, and available to pay for your holiday. If because of fraud or dishonesty the money is not there, then the guarantee is available to reimburse your loss. In some cases your holiday may continue as the providers or suppliers have already been paid. Where you have only paid a deposit and still have an outstanding balance, your holiday may be unaffected and by paying the balance your holiday will continue as planned. Where possible, attempts will be made to ensure that you can carry on with your original holiday arrangements.

What is the difference between the Travel Trust Association and ABTA?

ABTA ended its consumer promise in 2006. This means that travel arrangements that you book through an ABTA member are not automatically protected in case of financial failure. If the arrangements are not automatically protected, an ABTA should offer suitable insurance to cover you. If you book with a TTA member your money is 100% financially protected, automatically. ABTA does not offer financial protection for any holidays with flights.

Do I still need to get travel insurance?

In a word, yes. Whilst ATOL and TTA will cover you in regard to a company or airline becoming insolvent you must still get travel insurance to cover you for a whole range of other things including: cancellation and curtailment, delay, baggage & belongings,  personal liability, emergency assistance and medical cover. In turn most travel insurance policies will not cover you for financial collapse of an operator or airline so a combination of the two is essential for your protection.

What if I’ve paid with a credit card, am I insured?

A simple way to get a little extra protection is by booking your holiday using a credit card or Visa debit card. By booking flights, accommodation or a package deal that cost between £100 and £30,000 on your credit card, you get protection under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act, which means your card provider is jointly liable with the retailer, and must refund you. Similar protection is offered on Visa debit cards through the Visa chargeback scheme.