The Package Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tour Regulations 1992 are overseen by the Government’s Department for Business, Innovation & Skills. These Regulations require organisers of package holidays to provide protection for your money and to bring you home if necessary.
If you book a package holiday that includes a flight, then your money must be protected under the ATOL scheme. This is operated by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).
If you book a package holiday that doesn’t include a flight, then your money will be protected either by way of a bond held by a trade association, or by way of an insurance policy, or by placing your money into a trust account.
NOT a Package Holiday but a Component Holiday
It’s harder to get compensation if you organised the holiday yourself, because it’s likely that you’ll have different contracts with different companies – for example, hotels, airlines and travel agents. If those companies were based abroad, you won’t be protected by UK law and your rights could be completely different.
However this doesn’t mean you can’t try. Most companies will have a complaints procedure that you can go through, so you might get some compensation.
Who you write to will depend on who you booked the holiday through. If you booked a package holiday, write to the customer services department of the tour operator you used. If you booked it yourself write directly to the accommodation or service provider concerned (e.g. hotel or ski resort).
Make sure you include:
• your booking reference
• clear details of what went wrong
• copies any evidence you have, eg photos
• copies of receipts
• how much compensation you want
It’s a good idea to send the letter by registered post, so you have proof that the holiday company received it.
If either you or your tour operator has booked elements for holiday independently, for example making arrangements for the flights, hotels and transport separately with different suppliers, your holiday will not be protected under the ATOL Scheme. For this you would require Travel Insurance with Insolvency Cover.