When it comes to paying a decent amount of money in advance for something such as travel, and something that takes you somewhere unfamiliar at that, it becomes even more evident how important being properly protected is.
The big question is: how is your holiday actually protected? And, how is it done so through Protected Trust Services (PTS)?
What Types of Holiday Are and Aren’t Protected?
Before you delve into how your holiday is protected, it’s important to know exactly what kind of holidays are generally legally protected. Then you can book in a way that supplies you with the most protection.
The types that are best protected are as follows:
- Package Holidays – both with flight and without. If with flight then ATOL will protect the package and without flight, the holiday company will still need to comply with Package Travel Regulations
- Linked Travel Arrangements
If you are unsure what a ‘package’ entails in comparison to a ‘linked travel arrangement’ we go more in-depth with this in the guide to your holiday consumer rights where you can check what kind of holiday you’re booking to know how it’s protected.
The types that are NOT protected are as follows:
- Individually booked elements (accommodation, transport, air travel, tours etc.)
- Flight-Only Bookings (as above, subject to specifics)
- Packages under 24 hours in duration
- Package Holidays offered on a not-for-profit basis for a limited group
- Packages booked as a business trip
These protection lists are specifically those that come under the Package Travel Regulations and the ATOL Scheme, which are the best forms of protection alongside the use of the PTS independent trust accounts that all PTS members fall under.
There are other forms of protection for things such as lost luggage and medical issues, namely, travel insurance. (We would advise you to choose your travel insurance wisely.) However, above are the forms of protection that apply to the package itself and the travel companies you work with.
How Are Package Holidays Protected?
All package holidays are protected under the Package Travel Regulations. These were published in 2018 to protect the consumer against any mishaps that may occur around their holiday. This can range from not being provided with all the needed information, to the travel business you book with going bust.
Package Travel Regulations deal with refunds and reimbursements for legal and financial protections. It also deals with safe travel home if the travel company should go bust – also known as, repatriation.
When a package holiday includes flights, any financial and legal protection for these will be covered by the ATOL Scheme. This was also created in order to protect consumers against issues with the provider or unexpected outside effects to the holiday.
For a UK-based travel company to comply with Package Travel Regulations they must adopt a chosen financial protection model. The main choices are a bond or an independent trust account, like PTS.
All travel businesses with PTS membership have adopted the PTS trust model which ensures every single consumer can track and trace their monies at any given time. PTS is the only financial protection in the UK to offer such high levels of protection to both the travel business and the consumer.
How Does PTS Protect My Holiday?
Protected Trust Services is dedicated to the protection of the travel business and the consumer alike. We take great pride in being able to provide the best and most trustworthy protection in travel.
All our members operate under the Package Travel Regulations, as expected, and those that sell flights also operate under ATOL – either through PTS’s franchise ATOL, or an independent ATOL. Some travel agent members may purely sell travel packages through selected third-party ATOL with trusted suppliers.
All PTS members have to adhere to PTS rules to protect the consumer. You can rest assured all PTS members pass rigorous checks and risk assessments through the onboarding process to join PTS. Only the most professional travel businesses can join PTS.
You can find the PTS logo and that member’s individual PTS number on their website and in-store and know that you are working with an experienced travel provider you can trust. PTS members are incredibly professional, have expert knowledge, and are the travel professionals that you can trust and rely upon.
All PTS members will have an individual PTS number that will appear on their PTS logo.
Beyond this, PTS is a company that provides the core of our protection by running an independent trust account and bespoke technology to protect your monies. PTS has appointed Elman Wall, a travel industry-leading accountancy firm, as its independent trustees to give you further security.
This means every time you book a holiday with a PTS member, that money only goes towards the arrangement of your holiday. Your monies will pay the suppliers, book the tickets, and never be used for anything irrelevant to your booking.
Your money doesn’t get lost and muddled with all the other money in the system. You can also call PTS at any time, ask where your money is, and we can give you an exact answer.
Below you’ll find an infographic to explain how your money is completely protected through our system when you book with one of our excellent tour operators:
When booking through a PTS travel agent member your monies will be received via the PTS independent trust to prevent misallocation of funds, like earlier described. However, payment will be made to the principal tour operator and you shall be fully covered by the ATOL held by the principal tour operator. The PTS travel agent member only works with highly respected market-leading tour operators. PTS only welcomes experienced travel agents to ensure complete consumer protection.
The difference between a tour operator and a travel agent is distinctive and PTS protects both styles of travel businesses, you can learn more detail on this by visiting our page on the difference between a tour operator and a travel agent.
PTS and PTS members can guarantee you receive the financial protection you deserve. When booking through a PTS member you can go on your holiday knowing that if anything at all should go wrong, we’re here to ensure everything goes smoothly.
For your peace of mind and to ensure you book your holiday with trust, always confirm your chosen travel company holds PTS membership.