ABTA has a Code of Conduct which applies to all ABTA Members

It aims to ensure that ABTA Members maintain high standards and it allows you to travel with confidence.

The Code is the high standard that ABTA Members must live up to and we continually provide advice and guidance to help them do just that. You can be confident about booking with an ABTA Member because if they fall below the standard required in the Code we have disciplinary procedures in place.

What the Code means for you
When you book, look for the logo, because booking with an ABTA Member is the only way to get the protection of the ABTA Code. It covers your holiday from start to finish: from the information before you book, through the booking process, to helping you complain if anything goes wrong.

All ABTA Members must abide by the Code, which means that, among many other things, you can expect to receive:

  • Accurate information so you can make an informed choice
  • Advice or assistance on passport, visa and health requirements
  • An offer of a suitable alternative if there are building works that will seriously impair your holiday
  • A refund of your holiday cost if there’s a significant flight delay and you don’t want to travel
  • A response to any complaint you might have within 28 days
  • Resolution of your complaint as quickly as possible and, if it can’t be resolved amicably, the guaranteed option of arbitration to find a settlement.

If an ABTA Member breaches the Code, complain to us and we will investigate the problem. See the sections below for information on how we approach this.

Compensation

The Code doesn’t award compensation and isn't there to resolve individual complaints. You can use our low cost, fast arbitration scheme to come to a legally binding solution. If your complaint is not about a breach of the Code but is about getting compensation for a breach of contract or other problem, arbitration will be the right option for you to take. See our Holiday help & complaints section in the top menu for details.

How ABTA uses the Code

In the vast majority of cases, our Members comply with the Code. But when we know that problems have occurred, we always look into them. We begin our own investigations, and we investigate cases which have been brought to our attention.

What we don’t do: we won’t investigate cases that fall outside of the scope of the Code, or where there’s clearly no breach and we do require evidence of a possible breach in order to be able to investigate.

When we do find a breach of the Code there are a range of outcomes or penalties. For example, our Member can correct the problem and improve its procedures, it can give an undertaking to not repeat the breach, or ABTA can issue a fine. In very serious cases or if we see persistent problems with a Member, we can terminate its ABTA membership. As mentioned above, the Code’s purpose is to prevent and correct poor practices; it is not to resolve individual complaints.

Code decisions: 14 December 2016

The following cases were heard by the Committee at its meeting of 14 December 2016.

Ice Europe Ltd (ABTA No. Y1932/L6366) of 79 College Road, Harrow, Middlesex HA1 1BD was fined £400 for a breach of Clause 5C for failing to respond to correspondence from ABTA. The Member was also found in breach of Clause 6I for a delay in providing a valid Public and Products Liability Insurance and was fined £2,500.

Sporting Events Global Ltd (ABTA No. Y4432/L9491) of Richmond Buildings, 37-41 Albert Road, Widnes, Cheshire WA8 6JA was fined £1,200 in respect of a breach of Clause 5G for not complying with the terms, rules and regulations of the Arbitration Scheme and £2,000 for a breach of Clause 6B as it was found that by seeking to recover its costs and expenses associated with handling the customer’s complaints the member would serve to affect the reputation of the Arbitration Scheme and ABTA in a negative way.

TUI UK Ltd (ABTA No. V5126) of Wigmore House, Wigmore Place, Wigmore Lane, Luton LU2 9TN (trading as Thomson Holidays) was found to have cancelled the client’s travel arrangements after balance due date in breach of Clause 3A and was fined £1,500.

Code decisions: 4 October 2016

The following cases were heard by the Code of Conduct Committee at its meeting held on 4 October 2016.

Premium Tours Ltd (ABTA No. Y6123) of 2A Brackley Road, London, W4 2HN were fined £400 for a breach of Clause 5B for failure to respond to a customer’s complaint and £400 for a breach of Clause 5C for failure to respond to ABTA’s correspondence. The Member failed to pay the fines and its membership was terminated.

Sporting Events Global Limited (ABTA No. Y4432/L9491) of Richmond Buildings, 37-41 Albert Road, Widnes, Cheshire, WA8 6JA received a fine of £1,200 for a breach of Clause 5G having failed to pay an arbitration award within the allocated time.

Thomas Cook Tour Operations Ltd (ABTA No. V6896) of Westpoint, Peterborough Business Park, Lynch Wood, Peterborough, PE2 6FZ were found in breach of Clause 5B, failure to respond to customers’ complaints, in respect of 8 cases and were fined a total of £3,200.

Thomas Cook Retail Ltd (ABTA No. W8631/J8601) of Westpoint, Peterborough Business Park, Lynch Wood, Peterborough, PE2 6FZ were found in breach of Clause 5B, failure to respond to customers’ complaints, in respect of 2 cases and were fined a total of £800.

TCCT Retail Ltd (ABTA No. L8164) of Westpoint, Peterborough Business Park, Lynch Wood, Peterborough, PE2 6FZ were fined a total of £800 for a breach of Clause 5B in respect of 2 cases.

Tui UK Retail Ltd (ABTA No. Y5628/N0062) of Wigmore House, Wigmore Place, Wigmore Lane, Luton, LU2 9TN were found to be in breach of Clause 2A which requires that Members make every effort to ensure that the travel arrangements they sell are compatible with their clients’ individual requirements. In this instance the customer’s specific requirements were not met and the Member received a fine of £2,500.

Code decisions: 20 July 2016

The following cases were heard by the Committee at its meeting of 20 July 2016.

Thomas Cook Tour Operations Ltd was issued a Reprimand for a breach of Clause 2B for unsatisfactory booking procedures and a fine of £400 for cancelling the client’s booking after balance due date which is a breach of Clause 3A.

Club Caribbee Ltd was issued a Reprimand for a breach of Clause 5C for failing to respond to ABTA correspondence.

There was one appeal from a Member following this meeting therefore, the outcome of that case isn’t published here, pending the decision of the Appeal Board.

Code decisions: 13 May 2016

The following cases were heard by the Committee at its meeting of 13 May 2016.

TCCT Retail Ltd (ABTA No. L8154 of Coningsby Road, Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, PE3 8SD) was fined £500 for a breach of clause 5E for failing to deal with a customer complaint accordingly, resulting in a delayed response from the tour operator.

TUI UK Limited / TUI UK Retail (ABTA No. V5126 / N0062 of Wigmore House, Wigmore Place, Wigmore Lane, Luton, Bedfordshire, LU2 9TN) was fined £2000 for 4 breaches of clause 5G for failing to pay arbitration awards within the allotted time.

Azure Luxury Hotel Collection Ltd (ABTA No. Y2719 of Valerie House, 21 Castle Street, Chester, Cheshire, CH1 2DS) was found to have failed to provide evidence of appropriate public liability insurance and was fined £400 for a breach of clause 6I. They were also fined £1000 for a breach of 5C for a failing to respond to ABTA’s correspondence.

Barron Travel Agency Worldchoice (ABTA No. 14164 of c/o Treborth Garden Centre, Treborth, Bangor, Gwynedd, LL57 2RZ) failed to provide the customer with an ATOL Certificate and was reprimanded for a breach of clause 2B. They were also fined £400  for a breach of clause 2G for failing to provide the customer with sufficient advice relating to visa requirements.

Choice Holidays Ltd (ABTA No. N1225 of Triq Ic-Caghaq, San Pawl Il-Bahar, SPB 3051) were found to be in breach of clause 5B for failing to respond to a customer’s complaint and were fined £600. They were also fined £400 for a breach of 5C for failing to respond the ABTA’s correspondence.

Code decisions: 2 March 2016

The following cases were heard by the Committee at its meeting of 2 March 2016.

Newmarket Promotions Ltd (ABTA No. V787X / J159X of Cantium House, Railway Approach, Wallington, Surrey) was found to be in breach of Clause 5C and was fined £200 for failing to respond to ABTA correspondence.

Omega Travel Ltd (ABTA No. W4939 / J3326 of Omega Mansion, Boundary Place, 2 Milburn Avenue, Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire) had three cases heard by the Committee. 

They were found to be in breach of Clause 3C and received a fine of £400 for failing to notify a customer of a flight cancellation.

They failed to notify a customer of a flight change and was fined £800 for a breach of Clause 3C. In addition to this, they received a fine of £400 for a breach of Clause 5C for failing to respond to ABTA.

They were also fined £1000 for a breach of Clause 2B, for failing to book flight tickets for their customer.

TUI UK Ltd (ABTA No. V0476 of Wigmore House, Wigmore Place, Wigmore Lane, Luton trading as Thomson Holidays and First Choice) was found to be in breach of Clause 3I and was fined £5000 for failing to inform customers of significant building work before the customer departed.

Code decisions: 9 December 2015

The following cases were heard by the Committee at its meeting of 9 December 2015.

STA Travel Ltd (V1958 / 99209) of Priory House, 6 Wrights Lane, London, Greater London, W8 6TA were found to be in breach of Clause 5G having failed to pay an arbitration award on time. They received a fine of £400.

TCCT Retail Ltd (L8164 / W4939) of The Thomas Cook Business Park, Coningsby Road, Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, PE3 8SD received a fine of £400 for a breach of Clause 5G which states that Members must pay arbitration awards within the allocated time.

Code decisions: 6 October 2015

The following cases were heard by the Committee at its meeting of 6 October 2015.

Advantage Travel Centres Ltd (Y0077, L4892) of 21 Provost Street, London, N1 7NH failed to respond to correspondence from ABTA and were fined £500 for a breach of Clause 5C.

Just Sunshine Ltd (W6667, J7416) of Sunshine House, 7 Cutler Street, London, E1 7DJ were found to be in breach of Clause 5C for failing to respond to ABTA correspondence and were given a reprimand.

Peacock Travel and Tours UK Ltd (Y5153, P4781) of 54 King Street, Twickenham, Middlesex, TW1 3SH received a fine of £500 for a breach of Clause 5C for failing to respond to ABTA’s correspondence on time. They also failed to comply with Clause 6I and were fined £400 for not providing adequate liability insurance and provided an undertaking this would not be repeated in the future.

Tui UK Ltd (V5126) of Wigmore House, Wigmore Place, Wigmore Lane, Luton, Bedfordshire, LU2 9TN received a fine of £500 and £600 for two breaches of Clause 5G which states that Members must pay arbitration awards within the allocated time. They were also fined £4000 for a breach of Clause 3I as they failed to notify customers of significant building works before they departed. Two additional fines of £1,500 were given for breaches of Clause 1D and Clause 3A. The fines were given because they had advertised an accommodation incorrectly and failed to inform the customer of the error in good time.

Your Golf Travel Ltd (P6872, Y022X) of 2nd Floor, Clerks Court, 18-20 Farringdon Lane, London, EC1R 3AH were fined £600 for a breach of Clause 5C for failing to respond to ABTA correspondence. They were also fined £700 for a breach of Clause 5G for not paying an arbitration award in the allocated time.

Code decisions: 21 August 2015

The following cases were heard by the Code of Conduct Committee at its latest meeting.

The Freedom Travel Group Ltd (ABTA No. G8381 / W6417 of 1 Tabley Court, Stamford Street, Altrincham) was found to be in breach of Clause 5D and was fined £1000 for failing to make an effort to resolve a dispute as quickly as reasonably possible.

Flying Eagles Ltd (ABTA No. W4017 / J0559 of 68 George Lane, South Woodford, London, Greater London, E18 1LW) had not included the mandatory Air Passenger Duty charge when quoting a price to a customer. Therefore they were found to be in breach of Clause 1A and received a fine of £750.

Omega Travel Ltd (ABTA No. W4939 / J3326 of Omega Mansion, Boundary Place, 2 Milburn Avenue, Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, MK6 2WA) failed to adhere to the procedures laid down by the airline for re-issuing a ticket therefore they were found to be in breach of Clause 2B. They also failed to duly issue the tickets as soon as reasonably practicable so were also found in breach of Clause 2Q. They were fined £750 for both breaches.

Thomas Cook Tour Operations Ltd (ABTA No. V6896 of The Thomas Cook Business Park, Coningsby Road, Peterborough) was found to be in breach of Clauses 2B as they failed to communicate to their customer the correct information about a significant change to their hotel.  In addition they were found to be in breach of Clause 3E as they failed to offer the customers the correct options when making a significant alteration to their holiday. They were fined £750 for the breach of Clause 2B and £1,000 for the breach of Clause 3E.

TUI UK Ltd (ABTA No. V5126 of Wigmore House, Wigmore Place, Wigmore Lane, Luton trading as Thomson Holidays and First Choice) received a fine of £1,500 for a breach of Clause 3E because they did not give the customers the required options under the Code of Conduct when making a significant alteration to their holiday.

Code decisions: 14 July 2015

The following cases were heard by the Code of Conduct Committee at its May 2015 meeting.

Southall Travel Ltd (ABTA No. W4816 / 80626 of 19 South Road, Southall, Middlesex) was found to be in breach of Clause 3C for 5 separate cases because the company had failed to inform clients without delay of flight time changes. In total a fine of £2,000 was imposed for all five cases.

TUI UK Ltd (ABTA No. V0476 of Wigmore House, Wigmore Place, Wigmore Lane, Luton trading as Thomson Holidays and First Choice) failed to notify the client of significant building works. They were therefore found to be in breach of Clause 3I and received a fine of £2,000.

Code decisions: 26 June 2015

The following cases were heard by the Committee at its meeting of 19 February, 2015.

The Freedom Travel Group Ltd (ABTA Member G8381/ W6417 of 1 Tabley Court, Stamford Street, Altrincham) was fined £1,000 for a breach of clause 2B in that booking and documentation procedures were inadequate throughout a booking, and £500 for a breach of clause 5C as the Member hadn’t responded in a timely manner to ABTA.

Thomas Cook Tour Operations Ltd (ABTA No. V6896 of The Thomas Cook Business Park, Coningsby Road, Peterborough) was found to be in breach of clause 5G, receiving a fine of £500, because an arbitration award payment was not received by the client until approximately two months after the date of the arbitration award.

Travelbugz Ltd (ABTA Member P6628 of Seedbed Centre, Davidson Way, Romford also trading as travelsoon.com) was fined £1,000 for a breach of clause 2A (“Members shall make every effort to ensure that the Travel Arrangements sold to their Clients are compatible with their Clients’ individual requirements”) because a booking was made for the wrong hotel. It was also fined £1,000 in respect of clause 6A because the Committee felt that the standard of service given to the client throughout the booking process was well below that which is expected.

TUI UK Ltd (ABTA No. V0476 of Wigmore House, Wigmore Place, Wigmore Lane, Luton trading as Thomson Holidays and First Choice) was found to have made a significant change to a client’s holiday less than 14 days before departure, in contravention of clause 3D of the Code. A fine of £1,500 was imposed.

Code decisions: 12 February 2015

The following cases were heard by the Code of Conduct Committee at its meeting held on 2 December 2014:

Stoke Newington Travel Ltd (ABTA No. G9524 of 168 Stoke Newington Road, London, N16) was fined £1,000 for a breach of clause 5G because it had not complied with the rules of the ABTA arbitration scheme. The Member subsequently resigned its membership.

Go Quick Travel Agents (ABTA No. K9019 of 568 Kingsbury Road, Kingsbury, London) was fined £400 for breaching clause 5C which requires Members to respond to correspondence from ABTA. It was also reprimanded for a breach of 6I in that there had been a delay in providing evidence of a liability insurance policy to ABTA.

TUI UK Ltd (ABTA No. V5126 of Wigmore House, Wigmore Place, Wigmore Lane, Luton trading as Thomson Holidays) had two cases before the Committee: 1) It received a fine of £1,000 for a breach of clause 3B for failing to offer a client a refund when a cruise was altered making it in effect a cancellation, and 2) It was fined £1,000 in a case where it had breached clause 3D by making a significant alteration to a holiday less than 14 days before the departure date.

Airliner Ltd (ABTA No. Y0058 of Argyle House, Joel Street, Northwood, HA6 1NW trading as luxurytrips.co.uk and ultracruises.co.uk) was fined £4,000 for ten cases of failing to reply to ABTA (breach of 5C) and £2,750 for four cases of unsatisfactory booking procedures including failing to make cruise bookings and demanding balance payments early from clients (breaches of clause 2B). The Member subsequently ceased trading and its membership was terminated.

Code decisions: 19 August 2014

The following cases were heard by the Code of Conduct Committee at its meeting held on 9 July 2014:

1st Choice Travel UK Ltd (ABTA No. 97025 of 665 Christchurch Road, Bournemouth, United Kingdom, BH7 6AA) was fined £500 for breach of clause 5C which requires Members to respond to correspondence within a specified period, where requested by ABTA, and £500 for breach of clause 6G for failing to settle all debts due without delay.

Flying Eagles Ltd (ABTA No. J0559/W4017 of 68 George Lane, South Woodford, E18 1LW also trading as holidaygenie.com) was fined £750 for a breach of clause 2A for failing to ensure that the client’s travel arrangements were compatible with their requirements and £1000 in respect of clause 2B for a failure in booking procedures in relation to a client’s flight booking not being made.

Jetline Travel Ltd (ABTA Member J1693/W7104 of 7B High Street, Barnet, London) ) was found to have failed to offer a client the option of having an alternative or a refund when a significant change occurred to their holiday, and was fined £1500 for breaching clause 3E of the Code. The Member was also fined £600 for failing to make every effort to reach a speedy solution in the case of a dispute with a client, as required by clause 5D of the Code.

There was one appeal from a Member following this meeting; therefore the outcome of that case isn’t published here, pending the decision of the Appeal Board.