Holidaymakers warned to look past the price when booking late breaks

Date: 02 July 2013

British families looking to get some summer sun have been warned to look past the price before they book, or risk losing their hard-earned holiday.

With the school holidays approaching, many families will be looking to take advantage of cheap travel deals by booking a late summer break. But with research showing nearly half (46%)* of us are more concerned about getting the cheapest deal than making sure our money is safe, the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) is today advising holidaymakers to look out for ATOL protection before booking.

The CAA runs the ATOL scheme to ensure UK holidaymakers are protected against the risk of their travel company collapsing. Customers booking ATOL-protected air holidays will receive an ATOL certificate once they may make any payment towards their trip. This confirms their protection, giving them the peace of mind that they will get a refund if their travel company or its suppliers go bust before they are due to travel; and can continue their holiday and return home safely if it happens whilst they are abroad.

The scheme has paid out over £60m to cover the hundreds of thousands of UK holidaymakers that have been affected by travel company failures in the last three years, but people travelling without protection have often lost their money and had to make their own arrangements to get home.

Andy Cohen, Head of ATOL, said:

“There are some great deals out there for anyone looking to book a late break this summer, but, it’s really important people look past the price and check they will be covered if something goes wrong with their travel company.

“Unfortunately we have seen cases where companies without protection have collapsed and customers have been left stranded. Booking an ATOL-protected holiday gives people peace of mind this won’t happen to them and with ATOL certificates it’s now easier than ever to check if you are protected or not.”

Holidaymakers can check if a company offers ATOL protection by searching its name and licence number at www.packpeaceofmind.co.uk. Before booking a holiday, customers should also check they will receive an ATOL certificate with their booking; this clarifies what is protected, who by and what to do if something goes wrong. Holidaymakers should make sure they have access to their ATOL certificate when they travel, just in case something happens to their travel company.

For further media information please contact the CAA Press Office on: 020 7453 6030; press.office@caa.co.uk

-ENDS-

Notes to editors
1. *Based on research carried out by Opinion Matters on behalf of the CAA between 08/03/2013 and 12/03/2013 amongst a panel resulting in 1,421 respondents.
2. Run by the UK Civil Aviation Authority on behalf of the Government, the Air Travel Organiser’s Licence (ATOL) scheme covers the traditional package holiday, some individual flights and since April 2012 holidays known by the industry as ‘Flight-Plus’. A ‘Flight-Plus’ booking is one that includes a flight plus accommodation and/or car hire, so long as these separate parts of the holiday are booked with the same company and within a day of each other.
3. Follow @packpeaceofmind on Twitter for further information and updates about ATOL protection.
4. The CAA is the UK's specialist aviation regulator. Its activities include: making sure that the aviation industry meets the highest technical and operational safety standards; preventing holidaymakers from being stranded abroad or losing money because of tour operator insolvency; planning and regulating all UK airspace; regulating airports, air traffic services and airlines and providing advice on aviation policy from an economic standpoint.