Don’t get caught out with a non ABTA travel agent


Loveholidays has followed fellow package travel firm On the Beach in resigning from the trade body ABTA. Booking a holiday with an ABTA firm does give some additional protection

The move by Loveholidays and On the Beach comes amid complaints from customers of both firms who have been struggling to get refunds for trips cancelled due to coronavirus. In particular, both firms have said that in some cases they won’t pay full refunds for package holidays to destinations where the Foreign Office has warned against non-essential travel, even though ABTA has said customers should get all their money back in this situation.

What does booking with an ABTA member get you?

ABTA – formerly the Association of British Travel Agents – is a trade body with a membership of more than 4,000 businesses. UK travel firms don’t have to be members, but those that are offer their customers some additional protection. In particular:

ABTA members must abide by its rules, and commitments to customers. This is governed by the ABTA Code of Conduct, which covers areas such as accurate advertising, fair terms of trading, changes to bookings and managing customer complaints.

Importantly at the moment, ABTA says that firms must fully refund you if you’ve booked a package holiday to a destination the Foreign Office has advised against travel to – even if the package holiday hasn’t been cancelled.

This has become an issue for some as travel restrictions have been reimposed. For example, On the Beach has refused to issue a full refund for some packages to Spain,

Booking with an ABTA member gives you some additional financial protection, in case the firm you book with collapses. If this were to happen, ABTA protection means you would be able to continue your holiday as planned or get your money back.

Explorer Travel is Proud to be a member of ABTA