Stag weekends

The Importance of Booking with an ABTA Bonded Agent

14/05/2015

The following article has been provided by Sean Tipton – ABTA Spokesperson.

ABTA was first set up because a number of travel companies were concerned about cowboy operators selling sub-standard holidays. They thought this was bad for customers, but also bad for the industry’s reputation and they wanted to do two things; raise standards and let people know which companies out there were the good guys. From the beginning ABTA Membership has been voluntary and sends out a very clear message that if a company is an ABTA Member it cares about its customers.

If a company is an ABTA Member it cares about its customers.

From the start ABTA was quite choosy about who was allowed in and membership has always been restricted to either travel agents or tour operators with rigorous entry requirements. Over the years ABTA has introduced a strict Code of Conduct and has led the way in widening the scope of financial protection for customers’ money. But, unfortunately rogue traders are still a problem in 2015 as they were in 1950 and ABTA membership remains the gold standard for the travel industry.

ABTA membership remains the gold standard for the travel industry.

When a company applies to join ABTA they will have to prove that they are solvent, have sufficient money in the bank to trade successfully, provide financial protection where appropriate and demonstrate that its directors are fit and proper persons to run a business. If they can’t do this, they’re not coming in.

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The ABTA Code of Conduct is a long, detailed document which sets out in detail all of the things that an ABTA Member has to do. It is unique in the travel industry and is intended to ensure very high standards of service and just as importantly, prevent problems from occurring in the first place. It also sets out all the things an ABTA Member must do if a problem does occur.

It is unique in the travel industry and is intended to ensure very high standards of service.

If you’re unlucky enough to have a problem that you feel hasn’t been dealt with well you can contact our customer support team. If the problem can’t be resolved satisfactorily you can choose to take it to ABTA’s independent arbitration scheme. Arbitration is quicker and cheaper than going to the Small Claims Court, which is your only option if you’ve booked with a non ABTA Member. ABTA also offers a free advice service to consumers with travel related problems which helps thousands of holidaymakers each year and abta.com is one of the best sources of travel information in the UK. Take a look you’ll be surprised by how much good stuff there is on there.

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So if you’re booking your stag or hen do and don’t want the headache of sorting out a mess caused by doing everything yourself or risking booking with a dodgy company, book with an ABTA member like StagWeb and instead of worrying, concentrate on having the time of your life with your mates.

Book with an ABTA member like StagWeb and instead of worrying, concentrate on having the time of your life with your mates.

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