UK holidaymakers urged to pack peace of mind when booking

Date: 26 December 2012

Millions of UK holidaymakers can book their 2013 breaks with the peace of mind that their money is safe, thanks to the ATOL holiday protection scheme.

The scheme is there to protect people against the risk of their travel company going bust: ensuring they can continue their holiday and return home safely if the company collapses whilst they are away; or providing refunds if they’re yet to travel. And with January being the travel industry’s busiest month of the year, the scheme will give millions of UK holidaymakers peace of mind that their hard-earned holiday will not be lost.

In the past holidaymakers have been confused about whether they have protection or not, with nearly half of people surveyed by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) unsure if their previous holidays had been ATOL-protected.

But thanks to the introduction of the ATOL certificate in October 2012, that confusion should be a thing of the past. Anyone who books an ATOL-protected air holiday will receive an ATOL certificate from their travel company as soon as they make any payment. The certificate tells them what is protected, who is protecting it and what to do if something goes wrong.

Aviation Minister Simon Burns said: “Millions of travellers can now rest assured they are better protected whilst on holiday as the new ATOL certificate will without doubt make it clear how their trip is covered. The certificate is a standard travel document that families should now be expecting alongside their flight tickets and holiday details.

“It's only very occasionally that holidays go wrong, but smart planning combined with the ATOL certificate can make all the difference in helping holidaymakers return home with minimal problems and expense."

Dame Deirdre Hutton, Chair of the CAA, said: “We’re expecting over two million holidaymakers to book ATOL-protected trips this January, and these people can be assured that their money is safe even if their travel company collapses.

“They will also receive an ATOL certificate, which will make it absolutely clear to them how their holiday is protected. This is a really important document and holidaymakers should make sure they keep it handy on their trip so they have proof of their protection and the information they need if something goes wrong.”

Anyone wishing to book an ATOL-protected air holiday can check if a company provides protection by looking for the ATOL logo on their promotional material, or searching the company’s name at www.packpeaceofmind.com. More information about what’s covered by the scheme and how the ATOL certificate works is also available from this site.

People booking trips not covered by the ATOL scheme such as those without flights or holidays booked directly with airlines, should seek alternative methods of protection such as insurance or paying with their credit card.

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

Follow @packpeaceofmind on Twitter for further information and updates about ATOL protection.