ATOL Financial Protection

ATOL Financial Protection: Change but no changePlane landing April 2008 saw the introduction of a new scheme for providing financial protection within the travel industry. The "Air Travel Organiser Licence" (ATOL) bond scheme was replaced with a £1 levy or APC (ATOL Protection Contribution), payable by a tour operator each time a person books a flight or a flight inclusive package. This is not particularly engrossing news, we agree, but there are important ramifications: † The new APC is still ONLY applicable to flight inclusive arrangements and does nothing to bridge the gap in financial protection that exists where flight and ground arrangements are booked independently of each other. † This area is often overlooked or misunderstood. If you book ground arrangements separately from your flights, then you will have two contracts in place, one for the flights and one with the tour operator, and they will operate completely independently of each other. † If there is a problem with your trip (e.g. the airline going bust, a long delay on departure, political instability in your destination resulting in trip cancellation, or tour operator failure) then the risk of significant financial loss or extra expense, is very real indeed. Given the high value of group bookings, and the fact that losses due to financial failure of a carrier or operator are not usually covered under travel insurance, the need to book flight inclusive travel arrangements through one ATOL tour operator is now more important than ever. It should form a vital part of the financial risk assessment for a trip. † All the tour operators used by the Specialist Travel Consultancy are fully ATOL protected , and we will always recommend that you travel as part of a flight inclusive package. Contact us †to book your ATOL protected holiday or expedition.