What is covered under an ABTA Member's financial protection scheme?
For information about the legal protection for package holidays and linked travel arrangements, please click here.
For package holidays, the law requires tour operators to put in place financial security to protect your money in the event of them going out of business (due to their financial failure). This means that if the tour operator fails while you are on holiday, the costs of getting you to your return destination (if your package includes return transport) and reimbursing you for the parts of the holiday that can no longer be provided will be covered. If your holiday can no longer go ahead because the tour operator financially fails, you may claim a refund.
ABTA Members may opt to protect other travel arrangements in the event of their financial failure.
If a tour operator financially fails the financial protection for package holidays including a flight is covered by the ATOL (Air Travel Organiser’s Licence) scheme and your claim will be referred to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).
If a tour operator, who is a Member of ABTA, financially fails, claims for package holidays which do not include a flight (eg coach, rail or cruise holidays) may, depending on who administers the financial protection arrangements put in place by the ABTA Member, be handled by:
- ABTA or another organisation approved by BEIS such as ABTOT.
Other organisations such as insurance firms and trust account providers that comply with the Package Travel and Linked Travel Arrangements Regulations 2018. If, after the financial failure of an ABTA Member, you have a claim in respect of a non-flight-based package holiday or other protected travel arrangements:
- And you paid the ABTA Member responsible for providing your package holiday or protected travel arrangements directly by credit or debit card, you must make a claim for your money from your card issuing bank. We can assist you with that process.
If your package holiday included return transport that is not a flight, and ABTA administers the financial protection arrangements put in place by the ABTA Member, we can help you get to your return destination.
- Where financial failure insurance (FFI) has been arranged by the ABTA Member responsible for providing your package holiday or protected travel arrangements, you must make a claim for your money from the insurer. We will provide you with the insurer’s contact details.
- Where your money has been deposited in a trust account (a secure bank account) by the ABTA Member responsible for providing your package or protected travel arrangements, you must make a claim for your money back from the trust account. We will provide you with the trust account provider’s and/or trustee’s contact details.
If your package included return transport that is not a flight, the ABTA Member will have arranged insurance to cover the costs of getting you to your return destination. The trust account provider and/or trustee(s) will provide details of the insurer’s details.
- For other bookings, where protection arrangements (by bond) have been put in place with ABTA by the ABTA Member responsible for providing your package holiday or other financially protected travel arrangements (such as accommodation only, car hire etc.), you can make a claim for your money from the ABTA bonding scheme.
Package holidays that are for less than 24 hours, or are for business travel, may not be protected.
Also, if you book your holiday from outside the UK, protection against the tour operator’s financial failure might not apply unless the ABTA Member has opted to voluntarily protect your holiday with us, or unless a different scheme applies. You must enquire with your travel company to see whether your holiday is protected.
Check with your travel company to find out what type of travel arrangements are protected by them and how they are protected, before you make a booking. Always book with an ABTA Member; check whether your travel company is an ABTA Member before you book.
- Financial protection