With the Omicron variant of COVID-19 now impacting on everyday life after restrictions were re-introduced by the government, there are plenty of questions being asked about the impact on the travel industry.

Pre-departure PCR tests have been reintroduced and everyone must now test on their return to the UK regardless of vaccination status as the UK seeks to try and slow the spread of the new variant.

It’s understandable that the reintroduction of restrictions like these might cause concern for anyone who has a holiday booked, so we thought it made sense to go back over some of the protection you get when you have a booking with HotHolidays.co.uk.

HotHolidays.co.uk - and our various partner sites - operate with ATOL protection in place and we’re also member of ABTA; the  Association of British Travel Agents.

The fact that we have signed up with ABTA means we must adhere to a strict code of conduct that includes making sure that there is the correct protection in place for anyone who books their holiday through us.

Package holidays, like those we offer, offer the greatest level of protection and is determined as being a holiday that includes two of transport, accommodation, car rental or a tourist service that would be an essential part of the trip.

A package holiday booked though an ABTA member is financially protected in the event that something goes wrong. It means if the company was to run into issues and collapse, you would be able to claim a refund and would be brought home from your trip if you were already away.

There is also legal protection that means you will get what you have paid for. If you don’t and either the travel company or its suppliers are at fault, they will need to resolve the issue by way of offering alternatives or potentially providing a refund for part or all of the cost.

Crucially, membership of ABTA also means that you have certain rights when it comes to your holiday in the event that COVID has an impact on your plans.

In general terms, you will be entitled to a refund if:

  • Your holiday is cancelled by the holiday company
  • Your holiday is significantly changed
  • Government advice changes to advise against all but essential travel

A significant change may include the introduction of a quarantine period at your end destination, or changes to flights which no longer fit the dates of your holiday. A change to testing requirements or to self isolate on your return will NOT be a significant change as it does not impact on your actual holiday.

It is important to note that the levels of protection you gain from booking with an ABTA registered agent like ourselves is way beyond any protection you get if you go it alone.

HotHolidays.co.uk also offers ATOL protection, which covers flight-based packages, and is something you also benefit from when booking with HotHolidays.co.uk.

ATOL protection dates back to the 1970s and is there to help if a travel company runs into problems and is unable to provide the service you have paid for. Every time you book a holiday through a travel company that has its own ATOL number, that company pays a total of £2.50 into a fund that is overseen by the Civil Aviation Authority, and that is then used to help customers to complete their holiday or get a refund if the company was to collapse.

It only covers UK based companies - like us - and is an added level of protection so you can be assured that your break is protected. If you have any questions, then please feel free to ask our expert team.