Travel Update: Package protection

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The Independent Travel
THE perils of booking an unbonded holiday were highlighted last week with the collapse of Bath-based Land Travel. Until new bonding arrangements designed to accommodate the EC directive on package holidays come into force next year, people should check carefully their tour operator is bonded before booking.

Tour operators are bonded if they are covered by an Air Tour Organisers Licence from the Civil Aviation Authority; other bonding schemes are organised by the Association of British Travel Agents; the Tour Operators Study Group; the Association of Independent Tour Operators; the Passenger Shipping Association; and the Bus and Coach Council.

If your chosen operator is not bonded with one of these organisations, it may have arranged its own independent bond. Alternatively, if you pay for your holiday with a credit card (Access or Visa) for an amount in excess of pounds 100, you will be covered by the Consumer Credit Act and will be able to recover any money lost direct from the credit card company.

People who rented through A Cottage in the Country have found that not even British holidays are safe from bankruptcy. The collapse of the Thames and Chiltern Tourist Board led to people losing holidays and holiday deposits with A Cottage in the Country, a subsidiary of the tourist board.

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