Attention sun seekers! Have you packed your ATOL certificate?

Date: 22 July 2014

Holidaymakers are being reminded to make sure their ATOL certificate is packed, before taking off on their summer holiday.

More than eight million passengers are expected to depart the UK for sunnier climes during the busy summer period, hoping to enjoy a relaxing break.

By law, all holidaymakers who’ve purchased an air holiday from a UK-based travel operator should have received an ATOL certificate.

The ATOL certificate confirms your holiday is financially protected and who is protecting it. It means if your travel company collapses, you will be refunded or if already abroad, repatriated at no extra cost.

Ahead of the peak season the CAA is advising passengers to make sure they have easy access to their ATOL certificate, when abroad. This may be a paper copy, or as a document or attachment, which can be accessed on a mobile phone or tablet device.

Your ATOL certificate explains what to do and who to contact if a travel operator fails.

Head of ATOL Andy Cohen said: “So long as you have an ATOL certificate you can rest assured your holiday is financially protected and, if your travel company collapses you will not lose out.

“If you are yet to fly, we will make sure you receive a full refund and if you are abroad we will work to ensure you can finish your trip without disruption.

“It is important to take your ATOL certificate with you abroad, so you know what to do and who to contact, and you can continue to enjoy your holiday with the minimum of hassle.”

When an ATOL holder collapses the primary source of funding is the Air Travel Trust (ATT). In 2013/2014, 13 ATOL holders failed affecting almost 11,000 passengers and costing the ATT £3.8 million.

Andy Cohen added: “Many holidaymakers will be looking to snap-up a last minute deal with the hope of getting a cheaper price.

“However please don’t be too hasty and make sure you check the travel operator is ATOL protected and once booked you should receive an ATOL certificate immediately.”

UK holidaymakers are also reminded that not all travel companies trading in the UK provide ATOL protection. Some companies, based abroad, provide protection through schemes operated in other European countries, although in some cases this financial protection will be more limited than ATOL. To check if a company provides ATOL protection and to find out more about the ATOL scheme and ATOL certificate please visit packpeaceofmind.co.uk

For other essential travel information including passenger rights regarding delays and cancellations, special assistance for people with reduced mobility and what you can and can’t take on board a plane, go to the Passenger section of the CAA website.

Media Enquiries

For more information, please contact the CAA Press Office, on press.office@caa.co.uk, or 020 7453 6030. You can follow the CAA on Twitter at @UK_CAA.

Notes to Editors

1. The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) is the UK's specialist aviation regulator. Its regulatory activities range from making sure that the aviation industry meets the highest technical and operational safety standards to preventing holidaymakers from being stranded abroad or losing money because of tour operator insolvency

2. The ATOL scheme covers the traditional package holiday, some individual flights and 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 requested within a day of each other.

3. The Air Travel Trust (ATT) is the primary source of funding when an ATOL holder fails. It is administered on behalf of the ATT by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).