CAA reveals millions more holidays protected as a result of ATOL reform

Date: 11 October 2012

• 2.5m more protected sales than would have been in the scheme without ATOL reform
• CAA now taking action against a number of businesses still not complying
• Whistleblowing provision available for industry staff members

The CAA has today confirmed that the introduction of ‘Flight-Plus’ has ensured that 2.5m more people in the UK now benefit from ATOL protection than would have done without the reforms.

The figures have been published following the completion of the September ATOL renewal round, which revealed that for 2012/13, there are 2.5m authorised ‘Flight-Plus’ sales under the scheme.

This brings the total number of authorised ATOL-protected sales to 21.3m, although the actual sales will not be known until after the financial year ends. Last year there were 17.3m actual ATOL-protected sales.

With the initial impact of ‘Flight-Plus’ now known and the ATOL Certificate live as of 1 October, the CAA is now focusing on businesses it believes should be protecting their customers but do not currently hold an ATOL to do so. It has identified a number of businesses it believes are operating in breach of the ATOL Regulations 2012, and is entering into discussion with them.

David Moesli, Deputy Director of Consumer Protection at the CAA said:

“The renewal process has shown that ATOL reform has brought huge benefits to consumers. Millions more people are protected than otherwise would have been, and the ATOL Certificate will make it a lot easier for people to understand how they are protected.

“The travel industry has made great efforts in recent months to ensure they are acting in compliance with the new Regulations and this is leading to greater clarity for consumers. However, our investigations have shown that despite the Regulations being in place for nearly six months and a significant amount of support and advice being available, some businesses are still not complying. These businesses are breaking the law.

“We are therefore stepping up our enforcement action to make sure these businesses come into the scheme as a matter of urgency, and provide consumers with the protection they are entitled to.”

As well as taking enforcement action against businesses it has identified as being potentially in breach of the ATOL Regulations, the CAA is also reiterating its call for information from the industry on this issue. Travel industry staff members who believe their own employer is acting in breach of the Regulations can inform the CAA by using its whistleblowing service. The contact number is 01293 573190 and more information is available here.

In addition. an illegal trading reporting provision is also available for the public and other industry members to provide information to the CAA’s enforcement team on businesses they suspect are in breach of the Regulations. Information on how to contact the CAA’s enforcement team is available here

-ENDS-

For further media information contact the CAA Press Office on: 020 7453 6030.

Notes to editors
1. The ATOL Regulations 2012 came into force on 30 April 2012. Key elements of the regulations include the introduction of ‘Flight-Plus’ sales into the scheme; the requirement for ATOL holders to have written agency agreements with their agents; and travel businesses to provide ATOL Certificates to consumers with any ATOL-protected sale.
2. At the conclusion of the latest ATOL licence renewal round a total of 21.3m sales are now ATOL protected.
3. More information on ATOL Reform is available from www.atol.org.uk/reform
4. The 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.