Travel advice

Is your holiday protected?

If you’ve booked a holiday and your travel company goes bust, or you aren’t able to go on your trip – either because of travel disruption or because of your own personal circumstances – all may not be lost. We explain the ways your money could be covered should the worst happen.


ATOL (the Air Travel Organiser’s Licence) is a UK scheme that provides financial protection for most package holidays that include flights, when booked through ATOL-holding companies. It’s designed to make sure you don’t lose money - or get stranded abroad - if the holiday company collapses.

A package holiday means you booked your flights and accommodation together in one transaction, whether through a traditional high-street travel agent or with an online company. If your holiday is covered, you should receive an ATOL certificate when you make your payment.

When you book a package holiday without a flight, like a cruise, you may be protected against financial loss by ABTA (Association of British Travel Agents) or another UK scheme, if the travel company is a member.

If you book everything separately you might find you’re partially covered, or not covered by any of the schemes. If you’re unsure, ask your travel company to explain what level of protection you have on your booking. Keep a look out for the ATOL and ABTA stamps when you book too. Otherwise, if you paid using your credit card and something goes wrong, you may be able to claim money back from your credit card company.

Find out more about the different types of protection on the ATOL  and ABTA websites. 

Know your credit card rights

When you pay for part of your holiday with a credit card you could be covered by Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974 if something goes wrong.  It can also cover you for purchases made whilst you’re abroad. This is because your credit card company is jointly responsible with the retailer or supplier and may be able to give you a refund. You can make a claim on purchases over £100 but not more than £30,000, when paid in full or partially on your credit card.

Be careful - payments through third party online travel agents or services like PayPal may not be eligible for Section 75 refunds.

Find out more about Section 75 and how to make a claim with Halifax.

Travel insurance

Don’t wait until the day before your trip to take out travel insurance. It’s a good idea to buy a policy as soon as you book any part of your trip, in case something goes wrong beforehand. Make sure you read the policy documents carefully to understand exactly what you’re covered for, any exclusions that might apply and that you’re eligible. Save the emergency numbers on your phone before you travel.

Our Ultimate Reward Current Account includes worldwide multi-trip family travel insurance. There’s a £17 per month maintaining the account fee. Pre-existing medical conditions are not covered unless they are agreed with the insurer first, an additional premium may be payable. Exclusions apply.

Find out more about our Ultimate Reward Current Account.

Information correct as of 21st November 2021. Travel insurance is administered by AWP Assistance UK Ltd (trading as Allianz Assistance) and underwritten by AWP P&C SA.