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Protection when booking holiday separate

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Flights, Currency & Car Hire
15 replies 2.7K views
YesapleasaYesapleasa Forumite
1 posts
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Flights, Currency & Car Hire
Started planning for a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Disneyworld in Florida
Got a price through the travel agent which was extortionate!
Decided to look through ourselves and have booked it all separate
i.e flights with Thomas Cook, rooms and tickets with Disney - saved 4K in total

The travel agent has now got me worried saying that because I didn't book a package I'm not ATOL protected which means if there's a problem with the flight etc I'm not covered.

I was going to take out holiday insurance and did book it on my credit card but does anybody know what this means? What do I need to be protecting myself from and how do I do that?

Any help would be most appreciated! :T
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Replies

  • edited 23 May 2019 at 12:52PM
    Alexd52Alexd52 Forumite
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    edited 23 May 2019 at 12:52PM
    First thing you must do is get your travel insurance sorted immediately so that you are protected straight away.
    You will need to research the policy conditions to ensure that you are covered for what you need.

    ATOL covers against the holiday company going bust, and in some cases can offer protection with flights only, but you will need to look into this yourself to see if your terms cover this.

    Your credit card may give you some section 75 cover in the event of the travel companies going bust for example

    I wouldn't stress out too much, we always book ours separately to take advantage of savings, but remember, travel insurance will cover most things if you buy the right policy
  • no.1swimmumno.1swimmum Forumite
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    I may be wrong and others can correct this but if you book a flydrive you are covered by atol - this only helpful if your planning on hiring a car whilst there.
    Fibro-Warrior
  • Alexd52Alexd52 Forumite
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    I may be wrong and others can correct this but if you book a flydrive you are covered by atol - this only helpful if your planning on hiring a car whilst there.

    Not sure about car hire, but if you book a flight and a hotel in the same transaction, then this is usually covered by ATOL, even if it is a diy holiday
  • edited 25 May 2019 at 10:42AM
    Alan_BowenAlan_Bowen Forumite
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    edited 25 May 2019 at 10:42AM
    As you have discovered financial protection for travel can be a minefield. If you had bought the flights and car hire from Thomas Cook at the same time it would have been a legal package and protected by the government-backed ATOL scheme which guarantees to return you home if a business fails whilst you are on holiday or provide a refund if the failure happens before you travel.

    It appears you just bought the flights directly, on line , from Thomas Cook Airlines, Thomas Cooks could but do not provide ATOL protection for their flight only sales as they are not legally obliged to do so. Only 14 days ago a report proposed requiring all airlines flying out of the UK to be obliged to provide financial protection, 19 European airlines have failed since the start of 2017 alone, but it may be years before this government takes any action to implement the change, so you cannot rely on this happening.

    You need to ensure you have scheduled airline failure cover, this may be included in some of the better general travel insurance policies or if you have already got insurance which does not include that cover, buy a separate policy. The biggest supplier is https://www.protectmyholiday.com. and it is worth checking out to see if they will cover your flights, last Friday immediately after the announcement of the loss, they would not cover TC, but they may have changed their mind by now.

    If you booked the hotel and theme park tickets with Disney, there is really no risk of them failing but you need to be aware that if you have no flights, Disney would almost certainly still charge you in full for the hotels and tickets and the fact that you paid by credit card would make no difference as Disney would not be in breach of contract.

    It is often when things go wrong that the value of a package becomes obvious, as well as financial protection, operators are legally responsible for any accidents illness or injury that you might suffer on holiday and it is always much easier to make a claim in the UK than to have to sue Disney in Florida.

    The reality is that it is very unlikely that Thomas Cooks will fail but take steps now to arrange effective insurance so if the worst happens you can limit your losses
  • heatherw_01heatherw_01 Forumite, Board Guide
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    Make sure you get your travel insurance booked asap
    I'm the Board Guide on Quick Grabbit, Freebies, Overseas Holidays & Travel Planning and the UK Holidays, Days Out & Entertainments boards. I volunteer to help get your forum questions answered and keep the forum running smoothly. Board guides are not moderators and don't read every post. If you spot an illegal or inappropriate post then please report it to [email protected] (it's not part of my role to deal with this). Any views are mine and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.com.
  • FrugalistaFrugalista Forumite
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    Are chartered flights covered by scheduled airline failure cover or is it just scheduled?
    "Men are generally more careful of the breed(ing) of their horses and dogs than of their children" - William Penn 1644-1718
  • Alan_BowenAlan_Bowen Forumite
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    Charter airlines are treated as scheduled for most purposes now but if it really is a charter, and Thomas Cooks and TUI are in the main scheduled services anyway, it must be protected by an ATOL licence so you don't need additional protection as the charterer is legally responsible to rearrange a flight or refund your money if the airline fails. If you get an ATOL Certificate when you book, you are protected, if you don't, you need to protect yourself
  • FrugalistaFrugalista Forumite
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    Alan_Bowen wrote: »
    You need to ensure you have scheduled airline failure cover, this may be included in some of the better general travel insurance policies or if you have already got insurance which does not include that cover, buy a separate policy. The biggest supplier is https://www.protectmyholiday.com. and it is worth checking out to see if they will cover your flights, last Friday immediately after the announcement of the loss, they would not cover TC, but they may have changed their mind by now.
    Alan_Bowen wrote: »
    Charter airlines are treated as scheduled for most purposes now but if it really is a charter, and Thomas Cooks and TUI are in the main scheduled services anyway, it must be protected by an ATOL licence so you don't need additional protection as the charterer is legally responsible to rearrange a flight or refund your money if the airline fails. If you get an ATOL Certificate when you book, you are protected, if you don't, you need to protect yourself

    We have booked and paid on-line with Thomas Cook and did not get an ATOL Certificate. Do you have any advice as to where we may now get cover?

    My husband reckons we are OK as we paid on Credit card (section 75) but I am not convinced.
    "Men are generally more careful of the breed(ing) of their horses and dogs than of their children" - William Penn 1644-1718
  • Alan_BowenAlan_Bowen Forumite
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    TC are not charter flights, they are scheduled. The benefit of ATOL protection is that someone organises the flights home if you are stranded abroad and if you have airline failure cover the insurers may do so. With section 75 cover you have to pay out and then make a claim. Some card issuers make it easy, some frequently don't. The problem is that if an airline ceases to trade, every other airline doubles or triples the fares, so long as you are happy to make your own arrangements and pay for them you should be OK.

    Just a warning to those who book flights for others, whether they are friends or extended family, card issuers will normally only protect the person and their partner, whose card was used, on the basis that everyone else probably paid by cash or cheque to the person booking the flights and therefore did not book using a credit card. In this case insurance against failure or ATOL protection is vital
  • NoodleDoodleManNoodleDoodleMan Forumite
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    I have witnessed at first hand the potential issues when doing a DIY holiday package

    We were in a hotel in Malta on a Thomas Cook deal when the Icelandic volcanic eruption grounded flights for several days.

    TC kept us in the hotel, same room, same board basis and after 4 days leased a plane from Air Malta to fly everybody home, no cost to us.

    A large party from Ireland who went DIY were left high and dry and eventually had to get a ferry to southern Italy, a coach all the way up to the French channels ports, another ferry across to the UK, another coach up to Holyhead to catch another ferry back to Eire - cost was around 1000 Euros per person.
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