Booking your holiday with confidence





Booking your holiday with confidence

As an online travel agent, Sunshine.co.uk lets you build your own perfectly tailored holiday by giving you access to a wide range of cheap flights, hotels and transfer options across multiple suppliers. And what’s great to know is that when you book a package holiday (including a flight) through Sunshine.co.uk, every part is financially protected by the ATOL scheme. Read on to find out more information about the ATOL scheme, how this differs to ABTA and how you can book with confidence as a customer through Sunshine.co.uk.

Sunshine.co.uk Limited is an Accredited Body Member of On the Beach Travel Ltd (ATOL number 11549)

FAQs

What is ATOL protection?

ATOL protection (Air Travel Organiser’s License) is an independent financial protection scheme put in place to keep your money safe and protected should anything happen to ourselves or any of our hotel, flight or transfer suppliers. Every one of the flight-inclusive package holiday booked through Sunshine.co.uk is ATOL-protected, which means that whatever happens, the ATOL scheme will ensure your safe return home or that you will get a full refund if your package holiday can no longer go ahead. So you can book and enjoy your holiday without having anything to worry about.

Our ATOL protection promise on package holidays

Here at Sunshine.co.uk, we understand the importance of giving you the right financial protection when booking your holiday so that you can enjoy your break knowing that you’re covered for the unexpected. Sunshine.co.uk allows you to build a holiday to suit your specific requirements and needs. We provide ATOL protection on all of our flight-inclusive package holidays, so rest assured you can book with confidence and know that your money is protected and safe with us. We also keep all hotel and transfer monies in relation to such packages in an independent trust account, this means that we don’t have access to that money until you have safely completed your holiday and returned back home. Together the ATOL protection, our secure trust account and the Package Travel Regulations mean you can relax knowing that you, your holiday and your money are safely being looked after.

Is there a difference between ATOL and ABTA?

ATOL and ABTA are two completely different things. The ATOL scheme offers financial protection for all customers who purchase a flight-inclusive package holiday. This scheme ensures that your money and holiday are protected when you need it the most and is something very important to us here at Sunshine.co.uk.

ABTA is a travel industry trade association, of which, membership is not compulsory to businesses within the travel industry. ABTA have established their own code of conduct and guidelines that all members are obligated to adhere to as part of the conditions of their membership. Membership of ABTA is optional and several well-known names within the travel industry are not members of ABTA. 

What is a secure trust account?

At Sunshine.co.uk we understand the importance of knowing that your money is safe when you book your package holiday. It’s good to know that when you book a flight-inclusive package holiday with us, the money for your hotel and transfers is secured in an independent trust account, which cannot be accessed until you return back safely from your completed holiday.

Holding your money safe in this trust account ensures that your money is secure as we are unable to access it or use it to run our business, unlike many other travel businesses within the UK. This provides additional comfort and means that, should something change with your booking and your money needs to be refunded, we can do that easily. In fact, Sunshine.co.uk is one of the only travel providers that protect customers’ money in this way – additionally, we will only ever pay back refunds in cash, never as a voucher. 

It's important to understand that the cost of your flight gets paid directly to the airline that you make your booking with on our website. This isn’t kept in the same trust account as the money for your hotel and transfers, but keeping the two separate allows us to act a lot faster should we need to. Ultimately, this still means you can book your holiday with Sunshine.co.uk with full confidence knowing your money is secure.

Is my holiday covered by the Package Travel Directive?

The Package Travel Directive has been in place since 1 July 2018 and offers customers additional protection on their package holiday booking. At Sunshine.co.uk we understand the importance of feeling reassured when booking your holiday, so you’ll be glad to know that when you book a package holiday with us you’ll benefit from this protection.

It’s important to understand your rights as a customer when booking your package holiday. The Package Travel Regulations offer a number of various protections as standard and these include; ensuring all parts of your holiday are provided as planned, support and assistance should you find yourself in a difficult situation whilst abroad, full refunds in a number of scenarios and compensation in the unlikely event that anything goes wrong. With this protection in place, you have added peace of mind knowing that you’re protected when you need it the most.

Further information about ATOL and ABTA

- What does ATOL stand for?
o   ATOL stands for Air Travel Organiser's Licence.

-  Is ATOL protection a good thing for me as a customer?
o   ATOL protection is there to protect you as a customer and is good thing. Having this protection ensures that your money is secure and is looked after when you book your flight-inclusive package holiday. Rest assured, Sunshine.co.uk offers you this financial protection scheme when you book with us.

What does ABTA stand for?
o   ABTA stands for the Association of British Travel Agents. It is also known as The Travel Association.

- Is it compulsory to be a member of ABTA?
o   ABTA membership is optional for businesses within the travel sector and they act as a trade body to represent the industry. There are several large travel businesses that are not members of ABTA.

How do ATOL and ABTA differ?
o   ABTA is a UK travel trade association for tour operators and travel agents where membership is not compulsory. ATOL is a UK financial protection scheme that protects consumers. This scheme ensures your money is protected when you book a flight-inclusive package holiday.

- Is Sunshine.co.uk a member of ABTA?
o   No. Sunshine.co.uk is is no longer a member of ABTA.  All Sunshine.co.uk flight-inclusive package holidays continue to be financially protected by the ATOL scheme and all of our customers’ hotel and transfer monies in relation to such packages are held in our secure trust account. Package holidays without a flight (e.g. Hotel + Transfer) also continue to be financially protected, meaning that all monies paid to us in relation to such packages will be fully protected in the unlikely event of Sunshine.co.uk’s insolvency. This protection is now provided by insurance arranged by International Passenger Protection Limited. For more information about this financial protection, please visit our terms and conditions page.

If Sunshine.co.uk is not a member of ABTA am I affected as a customer?
o   Sunshine.co.uk continues to offer protection on all our flight-inclusive package holidays through the ATOL scheme, and all our customers’ hotel and transfer monies in relation to such packages are held in a secure ring-fenced trust account that cannot be accessed until the customer has returned safely back from their holiday. Additionally, our non-flight inclusive package holidays will also continue to be financially protected however this protection is now provided by way of an insurance policy arranged by International Passenger Protection Limited (rather than a bond held by ABTA). This insurance policy offers the same level of cover as the ABTA bond.

 ABTA is an industry body that offers guidance and advice for its members, of which membership is not mandatory. ABTA is also not a regulator. ABTA’s views on cancellation and refund guidance no longer reflect the environment that we and a variety of other travel businesses operate in due to Covid-19.

- If I booked a holiday when Sunshine.co.uk was still an ABTA member does that mean I am still protected?
o   We understand the decision to go on holiday isn’t as easy right now, and it is useful to know that our customers can choose to cancel their holiday if their chosen destination is affected and included in FCO advice. If you choose to cancel, we will fully refund hotel and transfer costs and waive any admin fees. As we use our secure ring-fenced trust account to hold customer monies, we are able to refund the hotel and transfer elements quickly in cash and not as a credit note or a voucher. Our flights all come from a variety of third party airlines and the decision whether those flights are operated is with each airline. If a customer would like to cancel their flight due to FCO advice but the airline chooses to still operate the flight, the airline retains the monies paid for that flight which means we are unable to pass the refund back to the customer. If the airline provider does cancel the flight then we will certainly be able to pass these monies back to the customer as a full cash refund as soon as it has been claimed back from the airline provider. It is also worth noting that customers may be able to claim back lost airline costs from their travel insurer and there are now a number of travel insurance providers that can offer cover, regardless of FCO advice.

- Does ABTA protect my flight costs?
o   ABTA does not protect the cost of flights – if you book a flight-inclusive package holiday with Sunshine.co.uk then your monies are protected by the ATOL scheme.

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