View Full Version : Tour operator / charter flight licencing

27th Nov 2018, 21:10
A UK travel agent is chartering flights from an EU airline to take people on holiday to Finland and back in January 2019. Flights are every week - so the inbound pax are the previous week's outbound pax

I've asked the travel agent if I can buy a oneway ticket for one person from Finland to the UK but been told this is not possible because they aren't licenced to sell this ticket.

I realise travel agents want to sell full week packages not oneway flights and the travel agent might change their mind a few days before a flight.
However, could there be any truth in the "we are not licenced to do this" response or am I just being completely fobbed off ?

28th Nov 2018, 05:06
Yes, you're being fobbed off. Finland is an EU member so it's all open skies in terms of one-way seats. The Tour Operator (travel agent) has to hold an ATOL license to charter this aircraft and offer these holidays and this license allows the sale of 'seat-only' be that round trip or one-way. I wouldn't blame them for charging you a fare covering the entire round trip plus the expected profit on the sale of the holiday and then it would be your choice whether to pay it or not. The only other possibility is that they've had to commit to hotel rooms for the whole venture and need all the contracted seats to match up with the beds.

3rd Dec 2018, 13:51
The travel agent probably just has "not available" shown in their system, without any finer details of why not. So if the commercial basis is it's been decided to market the flights only for round trips from the UK, tied up with accommodation, that doesn't necessarily come through.

More generally, regarding travel agencies, I long ago gave up placing any credence on their descriptions of the operational side of what it is they are selling. Our corporate one a while ago told me I "had to" check in at London City minimum 3 hours before an 0700 flight to Dublin "Because it's international". When pointed out the terminal doors are not even unlocked until 0515 in the morning they just mumbled.