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  • FIRST POST
    • 88Sarah
    • By 88Sarah 14th Sep 17, 11:06 AM
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    88Sarah
    100 WOW
    What Qualifies as a package Holiday
    • #1
    • 14th Sep 17, 11:06 AM
    100 WOW
    What Qualifies as a package Holiday 14th Sep 17 at 11:06 AM
    What actually qualifies as a Package holiday so you have full protection for example if building works is taken place next to your hotel or hurricanes or similar so you need to be flown home. it is obvious Thomson or Thomas Cook are Package holidays as they arrange flights, transfers and hotel as one package. It is also equally obvious where you book the flights and hotels direct yourself this is not a package holiday. But what about the grey areas like Expedia, Travel republic, Alpha Rooms etc where they book everything for you as what I would describe as a package
Page 1
    • leylandsunaddict
    • By leylandsunaddict 14th Sep 17, 11:23 AM
    • 1,344 Posts
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    leylandsunaddict
    • #2
    • 14th Sep 17, 11:23 AM
    • #2
    • 14th Sep 17, 11:23 AM
    It has to be sold at an inclusive price, no breakdown of flight, accommodation, transfer costs etc. The terms and conditions of each company will tell you if you're buying a package.

    Expedia sell packages. Alpharooms don't. They're only act as an agent. Likewise with lots of the OTAs.

    https://abta.com/holiday-help-and-complaints/how-can-we-help-you/what-is-a-package-holiday
    Last edited by leylandsunaddict; 14-09-2017 at 1:04 PM. Reason: To add link.
    • Alan Bowen
    • By Alan Bowen 14th Sep 17, 8:58 PM
    • 2,932 Posts
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    Alan Bowen
    • #3
    • 14th Sep 17, 8:58 PM
    • #3
    • 14th Sep 17, 8:58 PM
    Packages are a single purchase, although you may have chosen each element separately such as how long to stay in a variety of hotels, for example Kuoni, and Thomsons as suggested but many of the on line agents want to avoid liability and sell a similar product under the title of Flight Plus.

    This means you get financial protection but that is all. You have separate contracts for the flights, accommodation and transfers and your complaints can only be made against the individual suppliers. If you are concerned, read the booking conditions before booking, one of the first terms in most conditions says 'we do not sell package holidays but allow you to chose the individual elements to suit your needs' or words to that effect.

    You may save money, you might save more by booking direct with the hotels and airlines and cutting the agent out altogether but you lose protection in respect of accidents or food poisoning and breaches of contract by the suppliers. You pay your money and make your own choice
    • Heedtheadvice
    • By Heedtheadvice 14th Sep 17, 11:36 PM
    • 513 Posts
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    Heedtheadvice
    • #4
    • 14th Sep 17, 11:36 PM
    • #4
    • 14th Sep 17, 11:36 PM
    Simples eh?

    I can well understand why Sarah asks the question!
    This post is a bit long, I apologise in advance, but hopefully can add some useful information.

    To my mind, although the letter of the law and regulations are no doubt quite clear I feel it can be a bit confusing and not clear -certainly at the outset of a booking process or if care is not taken to read and understand all the info provided on websites/terms and conditions.

    I expect and hope Alan and sunaddict will correct me if I am wrong but there would seem to be three levels (at least) of holiday bookings.
    1 a Package as defined by the regulations (as explained above). As well as protection under those regulations from the UK, if booked with a company trading in the UK (?) the customer also gets ATOL protection that gives financial cover, repatriation (if needed) and a responsibility on the company to sort out a variety of problems in resort such as accommodation.
    2 separate bookings for a flight plus any booking for accommodation, transfer or hire car made within 24 hours of the flight booking. This gives the customer similar protection by ATOL to the package and is known as Flight plus. In this case there is more limit to what the agent must cover compare with the company selling a package. Formally the agent will be acting on the customer's behalf to make the bookings. It becomes confusing when this is not obvious at the outset (such as a holiday is shown initially headline advertised at a single price) and terms and conditions can be difficult to understand. For flight plus the agent, if a UK company, can have responsibilities for some in resort problems such as accommodation failure by the end provider. Sometimes a customer may assume an online travel agent (OTA) is UK based whereas in fact they are not. For the latter there will be no ATOL protection and so it is debatable if a customer is any better off than booking themselves - and therefore credit card protection or PayPal protection can be useful. It is further often difficult if not impossible, even if the accommodation is defined, who is considered to be the end provider (not necessarily the 'hotel' as there can be a convoluted chain of companies involved.

    For both packages and Flight plus the ATOL protection will be described on the certificate that should be received as part of the booking process, often by email following the booking being agreed.

    2. Self booking of holiday elements can be the riskiest as both package regulations and ATOL cover is not provided. It can also be a lot more flexible, cheaper and have availability not always possible with the package or Flight plus methods. If things go wrong you will generally be on your own and trying to resolve things as best you can when back home. It is much more important to have a wider cover (through options or better quality) on travel insurance as some things such a return flights at short notice can be very expensive.

    I noted sunaddicts comment regarding Expedia. I was interested to find my last holiday was booked with an OTA that mentioned the carrier for the flight and the hotel. The hotel room had actually been sold as part of a booking by Expedia and their contract with the hotel had been sold on to other companies that my agent had then booked with. It was only by chatting to the accommodation owner I found out about Expedia's involvement in the chain and in this case I presume they were the end provider! If they had failed whilst I was on holiday I might have been non the wiser. Confusing or what?

    Not only that My ATOL certificate did not come directly from my agent but another (presumably associated)company. It transpired that the one headline advertised holiday involved at least SIX companies!
    Last edited by Heedtheadvice; 14-09-2017 at 11:50 PM. Reason: grammatical improvements! and end comments
    • 88Sarah
    • By 88Sarah 15th Sep 17, 9:54 AM
    • 7 Posts
    • 5 Thanks
    88Sarah
    • #5
    • 15th Sep 17, 9:54 AM
    • #5
    • 15th Sep 17, 9:54 AM
    thank you for the above responses which gives me some clarification.
    There are obvious Package tour operators that I am sure falls into this catagory;. Thomson;First Choice; Thomas Cook: Airtours; Monarch: Olympic Holidays. Kuoni; Jules Verne. Jet2. If there are any others can we build up a full list on this forum by adding more by different reviewers.
    Three I am uncertain about are EasyJet Holidays, Fleetway and Broadway Travel ( both of which often appear on the Travel Zoo website).
    It is now clear to my where you book your flight first then go into another screen for your hotel these are not package holidays. Travel Republic, Alpha Rooms, Booking.com . Last minute .com:.On the Beach; Teletext Holidays to name a few
    Package holidays definitely gives more protection albeit probably at a higher price;
    • getmore4less
    • By getmore4less 15th Sep 17, 10:06 AM
    • 29,757 Posts
    • 17,791 Thanks
    getmore4less
    • #6
    • 15th Sep 17, 10:06 AM
    • #6
    • 15th Sep 17, 10:06 AM
    One thing people have to be aware of is it can still be a package without flights.

    A cruise is covered by package holiday regulations as it includes accommodation and transport.

    Other holidays like a coach holiday would also be covered by package holiday regulations.

    Another one to watch is "agent status" and ABTA cover.
    You may see a seller that is ABTA but if they are acting as agents their ABTA is not the one to look for, it is the actual provider of the service.
    • Alan Bowen
    • By Alan Bowen 15th Sep 17, 10:22 AM
    • 2,932 Posts
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    Alan Bowen
    • #7
    • 15th Sep 17, 10:22 AM
    • #7
    • 15th Sep 17, 10:22 AM
    Indeed there are lots of packages without ATOL protection which is only valid for flight sales. However all packages must have some form of protection either by the funds being held in a trust account, the operator having a policy of insurance against their failure, a lot of small and medium sized coach operators like this scheme or by a bond held by one of 7 approved bodies such as ABTA. It is really is a case of look before you book. There are 2000 ATOL holders and probably twice as many other package operators who provide protection a different way, and clearly a few who lie and claim protection where it doesn't exist so it pays to check before you hand your money over.
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