The boring bit:
As a Tour Operator we are required by law to have an ATOL Licence (an Air Travel Organiser’s Licence). This ATOL means that your holiday and any pipeline money that you have paid for that holiday is fully protected. This ATOL licence is only granted by the Civil Aviation Association when a company has met the financial criteria that the Civil Aviation Association demands. The Discerning Collection has obviously met these criteria and we have our own ATOL number which is 10953. You can check our details here; http://www.caa.co.uk/application.aspx?catid=490&pagetype=65&appid=2 simply type in our ATOL number 10953 and you’ll see our details.
The slightly more exciting bit:
However, to give our guests even more protection we have our own Trust account which means that your money is held in this trust until after you return from your holiday. Only the flight portion of the money you have paid is used and then only to pay for the flights that you have chosen. We cannot touch your money to fund our cash flow to pay for items such as salaries or even accommodation costs until you have returned from your well-deserved holiday. So your money and even the hotel owner’s money are completely protected.
We are using the Professional Trustees to Travel to administer our trust and the trustees are members of the CAA http://www.pttrustees.com/article-on-ptt/ .
Only a handful of operators in the UK use a trust account and we are proud to be one of the few. I believe that all Tour Operators should use a trust account as this gives you so much more protection and means that we have to manage our business without using our guest’s money. As a rule of thumb beware of any travel companies who offer you a great reduction in price if you ‘Pay in Full’ for your holiday months before you are due to travel. It more often than not means that they are using your cash to fund their business. So as the saying goes…just say no!
Just remember when booking with us every element of your holiday is completely protected. Your flights, your transfers to the resort, your car-hire, your hotel, riad and your villa are all financially protected.