Tag Archives | bonding scheme

Dubious advice for prospective holidaymakers in The Irish Independent

Under the headline “Holidaymakers can save €140 each by flying from North“, Aideen Sheehan relays to us statements from an online travel agency telling us that:

Sluggish demand in the North means flight prices there are currently cheaper than from Dublin, resulting in significant savings for identical holidays.

SUN holidays can be up to €140 cheaper per person if you fly from Belfast instead of Dublin.

Presumably coming from a press release, the story is from travel operator ClickAndGo.com and is effectively free advertising for them through the remainder of the article.

Buyer Be Very Careful

If you're reading this, you're probably on a PC with internet filtering, or a poor connections, so you're missing a picture of the clickandgo.com logoWhat Ms. Sheehan fails to tell her readers is that anyone in Ireland booking their holidays with ClickAndGo.com and flying out of Belfast won’t have their travel covered by the normal licencing and bonding arrangements under the Commission for Aviation Regulation rules that they’d have if flying out of Dublin, for example.

They are, however, covered by the UK Civil Aviation Authority equivalent bonding scheme.

According to the Commission for Aviation Regulation website, who oversee licencing and bonding:

Under the Transport (Tour Operators and Travel Agents) Act, 1982, (the “Act), Tour Operators and Travel Agents are required to be licensed and bonded in respect of the sale and offering for sale, of travel originating within the State to destinations outside the State.

You’ll see that this says “within the State”. For the purposes of licencing and bonding, no matter what your politics are, flying out of Belfast means you’re not originating your holding from “within the State”, and therefore you’re unfortunately not covered unless there is the UK Civil Aviation Authority cover instead.

Independent Newspapers has “form here”

Back in 2009, Dan White gave travel advice in the Evening Herald which necessitated this warning post from me for consumers, Incorrect advice on Travel Agents in the Evening Herald. The key advice at that time, which is again relevant in light of this more recent article, was as follows:

If you book a holiday with an Irish travel agent, but if you’re departing from an airport outside the Republic of Ireland, then you are not covered by the Commission for Aviation Regulation bonding scheme. You would be covered by the UK Civil Aviation Authority scheme – assuming your travel agent has signed up to it (and many Irish travel agents don’t).

So, if you book your holiday from a Dublin travel agent but fly out from Belfast, you’re not covered by the Commission for Aviation Regulation scheme.

Another thing to be careful of – the Commission for Aviation Regulation only covers anything booked from a travel agent that includes travel (i.e. flights). If you book a villa in the south of France, but decide to book your flights with Ryanair, then your villa booking isn’t covered by this scheme either.

 

 

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Toolin Travel – what you’re not reading in the news coverage

I’m not sure if this is relevant with regards to Toolin Travel, but if you’ve booked a holiday with them but your departure is from outside of the Republic of Ireland, Belfast for example, then you may not get your money refunded.

That would depend on whether Toolin Travel were also registered with the Civil Aviation Authority in the UK (the equivalent to the Commission for Aviation Regulation here in Ireland).

Given that it’s a Dublin based travel agency, I guess that most people would be buying packages flying from Dublin, but given that some packages might be cheaper with a Belfast departure, there could be some people affected by this.

To read more about this type of scenario, read here – Beware when booking package holidays! Click here to read the official story from the Commission for Aviation Regulation website.

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Beware when booking package holidays!

I wrote a piece for the Irish News Of the World covering this item a couple of weeks ago, but I think it’s worth reposting here again, to highlight something that I don’t think many people are aware of.

If you’re taking a package holiday, or if you’re planning on booking your own flights, hotel and car hire separately, there’s one item that you should remember to make sure you’re holiday isn’t ruined.

In February, a travel agent in Donegal went bust and while most of the people who had holidays booked with them will get their money back through the Commission for Aviation Regulation bonding scheme, many potential travelers will not because their flights were leaving from Derry or Belfast which, being outside the Republic,  is not covered within the bonding scheme.

If you’re tempted to take a flight for your holiday leaving from outside of Ireland like that, especially as it may be significantly cheaper, you should confirm that your travel agent is covered by an equivalent UK Civil Aviation Authority travel bond (look for ATOL protected).

Otherwise, because you’re traveling from outside the state, you won’t be covered if your travel agent goes bust.

Even if you fly from within Ireland, but book your own flights and then separately book your hotel accommodation, your accommodation isn’t covered because to be covered by the Aviation Regulator bond scheme, your holiday must include travel.

AND flights booked direct with airlines are not covered by the Aviation Regulator bond scheme, so if the airline goes belly up before you travel, you’re not covered.

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