ATOL Reform: Good news for holiday makers

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This is a scheme administered by the Civil Aviation Authority which provides financial protection to those who book a package holiday and the company fails. ATOL holders pay a contribution of £2.50 for each customer booked into a fund to provide those who have not yet travelled with a full refund and repatriate those home who are already abroad if the tour operator goes insolvent.

The scheme has been operating for some 40 years. Due to changes in the way holidays are now sold and the fact that many people buy their holiday over the internet the CAA estimates that only 50% of holidaymakers are now actually protected by ATOL. With this in mind changes to the ATOL scheme were considered by the Government. These changes will come into effect on 30th April.

The changes mean

--- "Flight-Plus" holidays sold by tour operators and travel agents are included in the ATOL scheme. These are arrangements where a travel firm sells a flight and overseas holiday accommodation (and/or car hire) at the same time or within a day of each other. the £2.50 ATOL Protection Contribution (APC) for each customer booked to guarantee the financial protection of their customers should they fail.

--- Passengers are given a standard, recognised certificate at the point of purchase, so they know whether their trip is protected by the ATOL scheme or not.

This is good news for consumer protection.  For more information on the ATOL scheme please click here or see the Civil Aviation Authority's website. 

Eleanor Armstrong
Senior Solicitor - Travel team

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