BRITISH football fans are being warned about travel scams involving the Champions League and Europa League finals.
The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has issued an official warning alongside advice on what to look out for when booking a holiday package.
More than 40,000 tickets are allocated to British football fans for the two finals – 32,000 for the Champions League final in Madrid between Tottenham and Liverpool, and 12,000 for the Europa League final in Baku between Arsenal and Chelsea.
But with prices for hotels and flights soaring, it's likely that scammers will be getting in on the action.
The CAA have advised that using a travel operator with ATOL is the best way to stay protected.
They warned: "Unfortunately, unlawful travel agents may use the urgency to pressure travellers into purchasing unlawful or fake package deals.
"The UK Civil Aviation Authority today launches its campaign to ensure that fans' chances at witnessing an historic moment in sport are not ruined by the actions of companies falsely posing as legitimate travel agents.
"By booking their trip through a travel operator protected by ATOL, supporters will be able to pack peace of mind alongside their tickets to the finals."
ATOL protection means that the company is legitimate and will cover consumers for any travel problems with flights or hotels.
The CAA have given their top tips on how to avoid falling victim to a travel scam:
- 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 – go to www.packpeaceofmind.co.uk and check the company's name on our database.
- Watch out for hidden costs – luggage and transfer fees can very quickly add up.
- 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.
- If going to Baku, you will need a visa for the whole of your journey – this includes any stops-overs.
Thomas Cook were forced to closed bookings ahead of the Madrid final due to a huge influx in applications.
The travel provider was offering return flights to the match for just under £600.
Fans who missed out can try booking holiday package deals to Spain or holiday deals to Baku with other providers.
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