Teachers and parents across Hertfordshire have been advised to ensure that any school trips involving air travel, are booked with a fully protected ATOL scheme. The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), which runs ATOL, is making the call as schools start organising class trips for the new academic year.
The new advice aims to prevent parents being left substantially out of pocket if the tour operator organising their children’s trip collapses. Parents of children at one school were left with bills of £750 per head earlier this year after the school’s chosen tour operator collapsed. The company concerned did not have ATOL protection.
Andy Cohen, Head of ATOL, said: “We have seen cases in the past where parents have been left to bear the brunt after a tour company has collapsed – and we’re investigating a number of other live situations. Whoever is responsible for booking a school trip, that involves a flight, should do a simple check that travel companies being used are fully ATOL protected. Parents can help by double-checking the details of any bookings.”
The CAA has set up a dedicated ATOL webpage for the education sector, which gives targeted advice for anyone responsible for booking a school trip involving flights. Many school trips, such as skiing holidays, can be quite complex, involving several different providers of flights, accommodation and activities. If the tour operator organising the overall trip is ATOL protected, then all individual components of the holiday are fully covered.
You can visit the website here to find out more.