Do you know the difference between a Package Holiday and a ‘Flight-plus’ Holiday? Knowing could save you a huge headache!

While the warmth of the summertime is still months away, many people are already looking into booking their big holiday. There are many choices with some stellar exotic destinations but sometimes choosing the wrong one could spell disaster! This is especially true if your holiday doesn’t have the necessary coverage to protect you against the unexpected. This is why it’s important to know the difference between a Package Holiday and a ‘Flight-plus’ Holiday as the former comes with protections while the latter might not.

Under the Package Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tours Regulations 1992, a package holiday must “cover a period of at least 24 hours or involve overnight accommodation.” It must consist of at least two of the following elements: transport, accommodation, and other tourist services.  Importantly, package holidays are required by the Package Travel Regulations to be financially protected.

Flight-plus holidays are an entirely different experience, despite appearing very similar to the Package Holiday. Flight-plus is a holiday booking where a flight departing the UK and accommodation are booked at the same time but because of the way that it is sold means that it is not a package holiday. These travel arrangements are typically made up of more than one contract. Each of the contracts will be with a third party supplier, and those third party suppliers may not be an ABTA Member or offer similar protections.

When you’re booking your holiday make sure the agency you’re going with is registered with either the Association of British Travel Agents or alternatively the Association of Independent Tour Operators. This gives you a certain level of financial protection against unexpected incidents.

Ralli Director James Reilly suggests that “it’s very common, particularly for online retailers, to give all the appearance of supplying a package only for a holidaymaker to find that they do not have protection in the event of the holiday company going into administration or if they suffer injury abroad. There have been cases where holiday makers have been left stranded overseas and have had to make their own arrangements to return and claim through their own insurers (if they had any).”

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