Legality of Booking Flights

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Dear DTS and Outreach Leaders,

I have been asked this question a few times. Our school fees and outreach fees should NOT include flights, but money for flights must be taken separately and tickets issued to participants (or at least a photocopy of the ticket) as soon as they are received. Most locations have applied this, but check that yours has. I found this memo in an old file and it still applies!

"Please read the following carefully and ensure that your operating location is handling flight bookings in such a way that they are not compromising our position."


In March of 2004 it was suggested that Youth With A Mission England may need an ATOL, (Air Travel Organisers' Licensing) licence for our training programmes and outreaches in that we receive payment for flights and accommodation from students and outreach participants.

On the 16th March 2004, Clair Gorman (our national administrator) met with Ross Leavers at ATOL and explained our operating procedures when arranging outreaches, including a timetable of bookings and payment.

It was determined that as the flight was usually booked and paid for some time AFTER payment for the accommodation had been received, they were in effect not being sold as a package and YWAM would not require an ATOL Licence but was simply operating as a Ticket Provider[1].

In light of the above, all training and outreach programmes are advised to ensure that when receiving payment from students the following process is observed:

1. Payment of deposit on application

2. Payment for outstanding fees for both the lecture and outreach phase, (EXCLUDING FLIGHTS) prior to arrival, where possible.

3. Payment for flights when the flights are booked. To comply with the regulations as a Ticket Provider[1] the student or outreach participant should be issued with a valid scheduled airline ticket as soon as YWAM accepts payment and the tickets are received. (I understand that for safety reasons the students may not be given the ticket until they are at the airport. However, to comply with the rules excluding us from needing a licence, a photocopy should be given.)

Any deviation from this process will require Youth With A Mission England to obtain and operate an ATOL Licence, something we do not want to do.

The following does not apply to flights booked through YWAM for the purpose of business or where the ticket is issued directly to the person flying.


John Peachey

DTS Leader, England

  1. 1.0 1.1 A "Ticket Provider" does not need an ATOL, as long as it issues a valid scheduled airline ticket as soon as it takes money from a customer -- taken from the ATOL website.