PTR & ATOL Regulations

The Package Travel Regulations (PTR) and the Air Travel Organisers Licensing (ATOL) Regulations set out how travel firms must operate in the UK and were introduced to protect consumers when booking their holidays.

What is a Package?

Package holidays have transformed over the years and are now sold in many different ways, from the traditional pre-arranged package to trips tailor-made to a customer’s specifications. In simple terms, the Package Travel Regulations state that a package is:

“a combination of two or more of the following travel services for the purpose of the same trip or holiday:
– Transport (e.g, flight, coach or train);
– Accommodation (e.g, hotel or villa);
– Vehicle hire (e.g, car or motorcycle hire);
– Any other tourist service, not intrinsic to those above, and accounting for a significant proportion of the trip.”

 

The combination of travel services is classed as a package if they are sold in the following ways:

  1. Put together by a travel firm (even if selected by the customer) under a single contract;
  2. purchased from a single point of sale and selected before the customer agrees to pay;
  3. offered, sold or charged at an inclusive or total price;
  4. advertised or sold under the term “package” or under a similar term;
  5. put together after the conclusion of a contract, as the travel firm permitted the customer to do so, as part of the sale;
  6. purchased from separate travel firms through linked online booking processes, within 24 hours of each other and where the customer’s personal and payment details were passed between the two firms.

What should I do if I want to sell a package?

The Package Travel Regulations provide consumers with legal and financial protections, which you must comply with if you sell a package. The legal protection means that you must provide your customers with certain information before, during and after the sale and that you must take responsibility for ensuring that the customer obtains the holiday they paid for. If that isn’t possible, you must sort it out in accordance with the Regulations.

The financial protection requirement is that you must put in place insolvency protection to ensure that if you cease trading, your customers will receive a refund or will be brought home if they are abroad at the time of the failure. This is where we can help you. The Travel Vault enables its members to comply with the Package Travel Regulations by putting in place an approved insurance policy for each of them, therefore fully protecting their customers.

What about if I sell a flight package or flight-only – is that different?

If you sell a package including a flight, not only must you comply with the Package Travel Regulations but also the ATOL Regulations. These Regulations state that if you sell flight-inclusive packages, you must hold an Air Travel Organiser’s Licence, issued by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). Having an ATOL means that your customers are protected under the ATOL scheme.

You must also hold an ATOL for some Flight-only sales. For example, if you are not an IATA member or you do not have an agency agreement in place with an airline or ATOL holder and cannot issue a valid flight ticket immediately once you have received payment.

However, we can also help you with this. The CAA has approved the Travel Vault as a Franchise holder meaning that our members can be granted an ATOL on the basis of membership of our scheme, without the need for bonding. These ATOLs are full ATOLs and offer your customers the same protection as if you had applied to the CAA directly.

Our members are covered

The Travel Vault complies fully with the PTR and ATOL Regulations in financially protecting our member’s customers. We offer a simple solution enabling our members to meet their legal obligations for both air and non-air holidays under one single scheme.

Find out more here.

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