The UK’s aviation regulator, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), is reminding football fans looking to travel to the FIFA World Cup in Qatar to do their homework before booking any last-minute trips.
With just weeks to go before England and Wales kick off their campaign, the UK Civil Aviation Authority is urging those planning to fly to Qatar to make sure their bookings are ATOL protected and not ruined by booking fake deals or being ripped off by people falsely posing as reputable travel agents.
So that consumers can enjoy football’s biggest competition this winter without worrying about their trip, the regulator is reminding fans to always check that a travel firm is a legitimate ATOL holder before they book, which they can do on the UK Civil Aviation Authority website.
If a travel company with an ATOL stops trading, the scheme protects you if you have booked an air package trip with them, making sure you don’t get stuck abroad or lose money.
The FIFA World Cup will take place from 20 November to 18 December 2022.
Paul Smith, Consumers and Markets Director at the UK Civil Aviation Authority, said:
“Football fans need to know the score before booking to make sure they can enjoy the World Cup in Qatar. Nobody wants to score an own goal by not doing their research on their chosen travel firm and losing out as a result.
“Depending on how England and Wales progress some people might be tempted to make a last- minute booking to Qatar - hopefully football will be the winner with everyone enjoying a trouble-free trip.”
The CAA has also issued some other top tips for football fans before they travel to Qatar including:
- Use a credit card – this can allow you to benefit from enhanced purchase protection under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act. This means if you pay for your flight or accommodation with a credit card and something goes wrong, in many cases your credit card issuer should provide you with your money back (as long as the purchase is between £100-£30,000).
- Book travel insurance – this provides extra protection if your trip doesn’t go as planned covering items such as cancellations, missed transport, medical emergencies and lost or stolen items. Always check the insurance terms and conditions for full details of coverage.
- Watch out for hidden costs – avoid nasty surprises by making sure you check the airport and accommodation fees, such as baggage allowance and accommodation transfers.
- Check financial protection if booking with a non-UK company - there are some non-UK travel companies which offer World Cup tours to UK consumers. These products should be ATOL protected, but do your research and check our website to ensure they hold an ATOL and provide the appropriate financial protection.
The UK Government has also issued advice for anyone travelling to Qatar in November and December including details of how to apply for a mandatory Hayya card, local laws and customs to be aware of and how to book accommodation. More details can be found here: Qatar World Cup 2022 - Qatar travel advice - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)