Disputes we can and can’t help with

ABTA will aim to respond to all disputes within 28 days if not sooner. If you’ve registered a dispute regarding a pre-departure issue, we will be in touch with you sooner than the current wait time.

See our FAQs and Tips and advice for the answers to many common questions. 

We are here to help customers of ABTA members, so you will need to check that your problem relates to a current ABTA member. If your travel company is not a member, we will not be able to help with your dispute. 

If you have a dispute and you booked with a current ABTA member then we can offer information and potential solutions. This service is approved by Government as a Consumer ADR body under the Alternative Dispute Resolution for Consumer Disputes (Competent Authorities and Information) Regulations 2015.

Please note that airlines are not Members of ABTA. If you booked your flight directly with an airline, you will need to contact the airline if you are having any issues with receiving a refund.

What can ABTA help me with? 

  • We can help you if you have a booking with a travel company that is a current member of ABTA.
  • We can offer you an ADR (Alternative Dispute Resolution) scheme if you have a dispute with a current ABTA member. This has two stages: informal resolution, and more formal arbitration. We can guide you through our processes. 
  • For more information on the ADR scheme please visit the resolving disputes page.
  • We can provide information on any current Foreign Office advice.
  • We can advise on whether your travel company is acting in line with our Code of Conduct. This covers issues such as changes to bookings, information and travel documents you should receive, cancellations, how ABTA members should deal with complaints and more. We can guide our members in following our code, and if we believe a breach of the code may have taken place we will look into it. 

What can’t ABTA help me with?

  • ABTA isn’t an ombudsman or a Government body, and we can’t award compensation, or require our members to offer compensation in disputes.
  • We can't offer free legal advice to customers. We’re not a legal body; we regulate through and advise on our Code of Conduct.
  • We can’t assist you if your booking is not with a travel company that is a current member of ABTA.
  • We can’t assist you if you have raised a chargeback with a bank or credit card company and it is still active. 
  • We can’t assist you if your dispute is older than 18 months from the return journey or the intended return date.