As June heralds in a new Pride Month, cities across the world are preparing for an historic succession of parades, with WorldPride hosted in New York this year, for the first time ever. In the UK, thousands of people will attend the 117 pride events taking place across the country. However, the allure of hot weather elsewhere, along with the desire to celebrate Pride on an international scale in such a historic year, may see more Brits than ever attending Pride festivities overseas.
The UK CAA's package holiday financial protection scheme ATOL is today launching a campaign to advise travellers to ensure their package holiday bookings are protected, especially when booking through specialist travel agents. The increase in availability of LGBTQ specialist travel agents and tour operators is a welcome sight for travellers that may feel their interests are not adequately represented by other companies. Booking with a company that packages and sells more LGBTQ-friendly holidays will no doubt put many travellers' minds at ease. However, it is essential that, when booking a package holiday through any specialist travel company, consumers are adequately protected. The UK CAA today warns of the number of unscrupulous websites and individuals looking to make money selling fake or illegal pride package holidays. Travellers should:
Look out for the ATOL logo. This is usually found on your travel company's website, brochure or shop front.
Research the travel company to ensure their ATOL protection is legitimate. Some companies may falsely claim to have ATOL protection to appear more reputable. Go to www.packpeaceofmind.co.uk and check the company's name on our database
Watch out for hidden costs. Luggage and transfer fees that may not be included in the final bill and, when added up, can make your holiday significantly more expensive
Check for financial protection if booking with a non-UK based company. There are some non-UK travel companies which offer travel to UK consumers, but these will often not be ATOL protected. Do your research and check what financial protection they provide and, if in doubt, book using a credit card, ensuring you are protected up to the value of £30,000 under UK law.
Get travel insurance as soon as you book. You should consider taking out a policy as soon as you have booked your trip to ensure your covered, should anything go wrong before you take off.
Andy Cohen, Head of ATOL at the UK Civil Aviation Authority:
“LGBTQ travellers will be taking part in Pride celebrations all over the world this summer, whether part of official parades or joining in the festivities. When booking any package holidays for these trips, it is important to be aware of travel companies that may seek to fraudulently or illegally sell package holidays.
"Watch out for the ATOL logo when booking and always research the travel company on the ATOL website. The easiest way to protect yourself financially when booking a holiday is to confirm that the holiday you are booking is ATOL protected.”
Visit www.packpeaceofmind.co.uk for more information about ATOL protection.