In these uncertain financial times, with airlines and tour companies exposed to high fuel prices and lower consumer spending, it is essential your payments are fully protected. For this reason, we have posted advice how you can reduce and even eliminate the risk of losing your money by buying tours and travel from responsible companies who correctly protect your payments as opposed to dealing with companies who may use your payments to resolve their own short term cash-flow issues.
Our financial statement below gives you information on the financial protection that we offer you as a client but also advice on what you should be aware of before you book any form of travel in the UK or Europe – regardless of which company you choose to travel with.
The Legal requirements for any travel agent, tour operator, charity or private individual who offers travel arrangements in Europe (including the UK)
European law requires all companies, charities or individuals who make package travel arrangements that are sold from the within Europe to protect their clients’ funds in case they encounter financial difficulties, bankrupt or simply disappear with your money.
Failure to properly protect your payment is actually a criminal offence and the offender could face a jail sentence for not protecting your funds. This basically means that if you pay for a package tour and the company spends your money and then goes bankrupt, the owner or director will have committed a serious offence.
How we are able to protect your payments
GTI Travel Group Limited is a company committed to customer satisfaction and consumer financial protection. We are therefore pleased to announce that we insure our customers' monies in accordance with the minimum requirements set out by the EU "The Package Travel, Package Tours Regulations" The policy includes repatriation if required, arising from the cancellation or curtailment of your travel arrangements due to the insolvency of GTI Travel Group Limited. This insurance has been arranged by The Travel Vault in conjunction with Towergate Travel through Zurich Insurance PLC.
Claims : In the unlikely event of Insolvency, you must Inform Towergate Travel immediately on +44 (0) 1932 334140 or by email at [email protected] . Please ensure you retain the booking confirmation form as evidence of cover and value.
Policy exclusions: This policy will not cover any monies paid for Travel Insurance
If you are booking with an agent or re-seller, it is your responsibility to check whether they provide any different financial protection, in accordance with the Package Regulations. Our financial cover only extends to clients or companies who have contracted directly with us, for the packages that we organise. This means we cannot provide cover should your agent or re-seller experience financial difficulties or cease trading. In such circumstances, we would treat affected bookings as cancelled.
For further information, please refer to section B of our Booking Conditions found here: Booking Conditions
We also have our own documented safety policy and additional combined liability insurance, which provides extra cover for our entire supply chain, so that in the event of major unforeseen events, you are travelling with a company that has taken all steps to reduce your exposure to risk. We believe our additional insurance demonstrates how importantly we view your safety.
We firmly believe that we go a long way beyond most other companies or organisations which operate tours for overseas visitors. Our consistent attention to detail together with the best products on the UK market, means that you can be assured of a fantastic experience with people who really do care!
Verifiable Proof of compliance and security
You can verify everything we state in this section by obtaining the following from us:
1. Copy of our tour operators liability insurance - click here to view
2. Copy of our transport operators' liability insurance
Additionally, International Friends, which is part of GTI Travel Group Ltd is a registered company and copies of our accounts are available from Companies House for a fee. We operate on the basis we maintain a healthy balance sheet, generating profits that are re-invested back into the company to ensure you get the best possible experience.
Why take chances? Book with complete confidence, wherever you are in the world.
Questions & Answers
Q If an operator has CAA/ATOL bonding is my money protected?
A Only if your travel has been packaged together with a flight and the tour company offered CAA/ATOL bonding. A CAA/ATOL bonded tour company cannot use their CAA/ATOL bonding to financially protect a coach or train tour that has not been sold and packed with a flight. A combined air and tour package must be on 1 invoice. The CAA/ATOL bonding refers to the UK governments' Civil Aviation Authority Air Tour Operators Licence. The CAA has no remit to financially protect tours, unless they are sold as part of a package which contains a flight - not many people know or understand this!
The following sentence below has been copied directly from the CAA/ATOL website. You may click on this to link directly to the CAA/ATOL site for further details:
"It is important to note that ATOL only covers air holiday packages and some flight only arrangements bought from tour operators, such as charter flights" <http://www.caa.co.uk/default.aspx?catid=1052&pagetype=90&pageid=6512>
Kindly note that we at International Friends do not sell flights, or organise packages that include any flights, therefore we are not required to hold an ATOL licence.