Bonded Coach Holidays (BCH)
If you are a coach operator organising holidays (packages) you need to make sure your customers have financial protection. You can do this by using the Bonded Coach Holidays scheme (BCH).
BCH is the coach tourism industry’s government approved bonding scheme and it is run by ABTOT.
To join BCH, you must hold an O-Licence and be a member of the Confederation of Passenger Transport (CPT). BCH Members are required to comply with BCH ABTOT operational and financial standards which are set out in BCH’s Rules and Code of Conduct and they are audited on a regular basis by BCH ABTOT.
BCH Members are required to re-apply each year for Membership of the scheme, supplying financial information to BCH & ABTOT.
Join CPT find out more here
To find out more about becoming a BCH member contact the team here
BCH ABTOT safeguards your money in the unlikely event that your BCH ABTOT tour operator ceases trading. You are guaranteed repayment of monies paid. It also ensures the completion of your holiday if it has already started.
Each BCH ABTOT Member is required to provide a bond from a bank or major insurance company to BCH ABTOT. This bond is used to refund your money or to allow you to complete your holiday if already started.
BCH ABTOT also has an insurance policy available to cover unlikely situations where a Members bond does not cover all the refunds.
BCH ABTOT is a consumer protection scheme approved by the Government under The Package Travel and Linked Travel Arrangements Regulations 2018 to safeguard your money.
All BCH ABTOT Members are Operator Members of the Confederation of Passenger Transport UK (CPT),the trade body representing the coach and bus industry.
When booking a package coach holiday (involving coach travel and accommodation of at least one overnight stay), be it in the UK or abroad, always check that your tour operator is complying with the Package Travel Regulations with regard to your money. If in doubt ask them how they are complying and how your money is protected.
Remember, it is a legal requirement to provide protection for your money as BCH ABTOT does.
The BCH ABTOT Package Travel Regulations offer protection to consumers when booking package holidays. Tour operators have a legal obligation to provide such protection and failure to do so is a criminal offence.
The Government has appointed the Association of Bonded Travel Organisers Trust Limited (ABTOT) to administer BCH/ABTOT under The Package Travel and Linked Travel Arrangements Regulations 2018.
BCH ABTOT Members are required to comply with operational and financial standards, set out in the rules and code of conduct, and they are audited on a regular basis by BCH ABTOT.
BCH ABTOT Members are required to re-apply each year for membership of the scheme, supplying financial information to an independent applications committee who set their bond levels.
Whilst recognising Consumer Rights to a refund, it is appropriate at this difficult and unprecedented time to accept Refund Credit Notes.
The Refund Credit Notes are covered in the event of a financial failure by BONDED COACH HOLIDAYS financial protection. The Credit Notes can be exchanged against future holidays until end of 2021.
Options should be discussed with the individual BCH Member (click here) once businesses are allowed to return to normal working.
Bonded Coach Holidays is in regular contact with the Trading Standards Lead Officer for travel and tourism law.
Bonded Coach Holidays (BCH) Members in many cases are unable to trade due to the restrictions imposed by the government as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Refund Credit Notes (RCNs) are being issued to allow customers to book a future holiday or request a refund when trading resumes. The consumer must always have the option to a cash refund.
RCNs issued by BCH Members in respect of coach based package holidays are protected by the BCH Financial Guarantee in the event of a Member’s financial failure (click here for a full list of members)
Protected RCNs are recognised by both the government and trading standards
Once businesses get back to work you can discuss your options with the BCH member.
Coach and Covid Holidays Q & A Booklet
Travlaw has prepared an easy reference legal advice for BCH ABTOT Members.
Including essential knowledge on how to operate holidays safely and successfully during the Covid pandemic.
To receive your own copy contact the BCH team here
Correct at the time of publication, may be subject to change.