Costa Concordia passengers face flight losses after cruise cancellations.

Another reason for people to book an ATOL bonded package holiday has surfaced after it has emerged that many travel agents may have booked their customers on a separate flight and Costa Concordia cruise booking, issuing separate invoices for two bookings rather than on an ATOL protected cruise package holiday under one invoice.

Because of the tragic accident that happened just off the Tuscany coast all the forward bookings for the Costa Concordia have been cancelled. Costa Cruises will be giving a full refund plus a voucher for 30% off a future cruise but because many travel agents will have booked the cruise and separate flights those customers could be faced with not been able to get a refund on the flights part of the booking because the airlines will apply normal cancellation terms and conditions. Most airlines won’t provide a refund if a flight is cancelled.

Those passengers that have booked an ATOL protected cruise package will be able to get a full refund and this highlights the importance of asking your travel agent whether the holiday is ATOL protected. The law on what constitutes a holiday package has been the subject of debate for some time and the law is soon to be tightened which may well close many loopholes but until then many travel agents continue to sell packages that are not ATOL protected as they try to get an advantage on price over those agents that do sell ATOL protected holidays.

Just for the record, here at Global Holidays we always sell ATOL protected package holidays.

Global Holidays is the travel agent for luxury holidays and you can contact them FREE on 0800 433 2300.

Flight Cancelled – Did you Get a Refund?

Our travel agency has had lots of enquiries from people who haven’t booked with us but wanting advice about refunds for flights that have been cancelled due to the Icelandic volcano ash.

There seems to be people who have booked with certain travel agencies who have been told that they are not entitled to a refund of costs relating to the hotel part of their booking. When I questioned these people they said that they were under the impression that they had booked an ATOL protected holiday. We find this very strange because if you have booked an ATOL protected holiday then you are entitled to a refund of all the money you have paid.

As a package holiday includes the flight and hotel plus maybe the airport transfer then this means you would not be out of pocket.So, if these people have actually booked an ATOL protected package holiday why have they been refused a full refund?  Without knowing the full details it is difficult to comment but it is possible that they have not actually booked an ATOL protected package holiday even though they thought they had.

The rules regarding what is a package holiday have become confused recently due to a court case which is currently being appealed by the CAA (Civil Aviation Authority) and it may well be the case that some travel agents are bending the rules so that they can offer cheap holidays.

If you are booking a cheap holiday then always make sure that your holiday is ATOL protected. Also, you should ask whether you are getting a “traditional” package holiday or a separate flight and hotel added together. If this is the case then you need to check that you are finacially protected for both your flight and hotel. If you are not protected then you should think twice about booking.

Always remember that you get what you paid for. There will be thousands of people who will have lost out financially due to flights being cancelled and this is a risk you take if you book a flight and a seperate hotel. As long as you are prepared to accept the risk then its not a problem but if it’s an expensive holiday then you should consider the implications.

As a footnote we would like to remind our blog readers that ALL holidays sold by Global Holidays are fully ATOL protected so in the event of a problem with your flight or hotel you would get a FULL 100% refund.

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