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Holidaymakers unprepared for the worst

December 29, 2008

Despite recent travel troubles hitting the headlines, 65% of festive holidaymakers still wouldn't know what to do if their operator or airline went into liquidation while they were away.

According to the survey, released by add-ons provider Holiday Extras, women are far less sure on what their course of action would be (72%) and those aged under 25 were also more naive, with over 78% unsure of what to do. With Christmas and New Year one of the busiest times in the holiday calendar, Holiday Extras is urging travellers to ensure they know what to do if something does go wrong on their travels.

Here are Holiday Extras 5 top tips for surviving travel troubles:

Check the Foreign and Commonwealth Office website before you travel. It includes travel warnings, emergency contact numbers to take with you and a new LOCATE service, which allows you to inform foreign embassies that you are visiting to ensure extra support if something does go wrong.

Keep all your paperwork relating to your holiday booking in case of later problems, for example, your tour operator or airline going bust. Make sure your travel company is an ABTA member and ATOL protected.

Ensure you get to and through the airport ok so as to avoid any issues. Check your route to the airport is operating effectively, lots of trains don't run on bank holidays for example. Also check your baggage allowances and current airport security regulations to ensure.

"Remember, if you book your flight directly with the airline or book accommodation-only, there is no legal requirement for your money to be protected. If you paid by credit card, like Visa, you might be protected by Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974. It may be possible to take out Scheduled Airline Failure Insurance before you fly," says Richard Cohen, financial planner from the Holiday Extras Expert Panel

"If you suffer an accident or illness abroad, ensure you collect evidence that will allow you to make a claim. Keep detailed notes, take photographs and if other people are affected too, make sure that you get their contact details too," says Mike Imperato, travel claims lawyer from the Holiday Extras Expert Panel

Recent travel issues such as the collapse of XL and Zoom has made over a third of people (35%) more likely to book travel insurance when they go away, although younger people (18-24) are the least concerned, with only around 20% more likely to take out insurance for their holidays in light of these events.

The research also showed that despite the instability of the travel market and the economy, most people (69%) plan to holiday as much in the next six months as in the same period last year, and 46% plan to spend the same on travel. Just 19% of people plan to travel less in the next six months but a third state they will be spending less on their trips.

"We have found that most people would rather continue to take holidays as usual than cut back, so travellers should look to make their budget go as far as possible. By booking add-ons through Holiday Extras, customers can make great savings on parking and lounges as well as airport hotels, particularly our undercover offering," said Matthew Pack, web and marketing director, Holiday Extras.

For free, impartial advice on managing your holiday finances, consult the Holiday Extras Expert Panel –


Note to editors
Holiday Extras® is the UK number one for pre-booked airport hotels and airport parking, taking bookings for over 5.4 million travellers each year.

The company offers a wide choice of holiday add-ons including airport lounges, airports by rail, London theatre breaks, UK theme park breaks, and travel insurance.

For more information and to book please visit or call 0871 360 2186.

For more information please email Helen Gillilan or Michael Johnson, or call 01303 816 335.

[email protected]

Lucre – 0208 332 9690: Natalie Dyer, Hannah Ferguson, Melissa Geddes