The CAA is urging LGBT travellers to exercise caution when booking specialist Pride Month (June) trips.
With cities across the world gearing up to host Pride celebrations, the CAA has warned of “unscrupulous” individuals and websites looking to take advantage of LGBT travellers through fake or illegal package trips.
In the UK specifically, the CAA estimates thousands will attend nearly 120 designated Pride events across the country.
However, the authority believes with more and more people seeking to celebrate Pride overseas at some of the world’s more established gatherings, and in locations with warmer weather, there are greater opportunities for criminals to prey on unwary travellers.
“The UK Civil Aviation Authority today (3 June) warns of the number of unscrupulous websites and individuals looking to make money selling fake or illegal pride package holidays,” said the authority in a statement.
While the CAA says the growing number of legitimate LGBT specialist travel agents and tour operators comes as a “welcome sight” for travellers, those planning to attend Pride gatherings overseas are urged to make sure their holidays are properly protected by looking out for the Atol logo and ensuring this protection is legitimate.
Anyone booking with a non-UK based company should be particularly vigilant to what protection is provided as these trips are unlikely to fall under the Atol scheme.
Other considerations include “hidden costs”, such as luggage and transfer fees not included in the final bill, and taking out adequate travel insurance well in advance of a trip.
Andy Cohen, head of Atol at the CAA, said: “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.”