CAA teams up with trading standards in new campaign to improve ATOL compliance

Date: 12 August 2013

The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has today launched a new project to drive improved compliance with the ATOL regulations amongst travel companies.

As the first stage of a longer-term approach, the CAA has teamed up with Leicester City Council to launch a campaign to make sure local businesses are fully compliant with the ATOL regulations. The campaign will also aim to increase local residents’ awareness of the scheme and remind them to check they will receive an ATOL certificate with their booking before handing over their money.

As part of the campaign, the CAA and the city council’s trading standards team will work with local businesses to offer advice so they understand how they should be protecting their customers, and are taking the right steps to comply. This will include visits to travel companies to check they are providing the right level of protection, with the potential for enforcement action against businesses that put their customers at risk by not complying with the rules.

To remind residents of the importance of checking for ATOL protection before booking trips involving flights, posters will be displayed throughout the city from today including in all local leisure centres, libraries and community centres.

David Clover from the CAA, said:
“This project is all about taking a targeted approach to make sure businesses understand their legal obligations and are providing their customers with the right level of protection.

“It’s the start of a wider programme that involves us working with local trading standards teams to give businesses the help they need to fully comply with the scheme. However, where businesses do not comply and continue to put their customers at risk, we will act to protect the public.”

Asst city mayor Cllr Russell from Leicester City Council, said: “It’s vital that anyone booking flights or holidays abroad makes sure the company they are booking with is ATOL protected.

“Without that protection, what might seem like a great deal on a flight could easily turn into money down the drain if the company goes bust, as you are highly unlikely to get your money back.

“There are lots of independent travel companies in the city, so we are very pleased to be working with the CAA to make sure the businesses and their customers have the information and advice they need.”

Following the completion of the campaign in Leicester, the CAA will look at rolling the project out to other areas of the UK, based on information it receives regarding businesses that may be trading illegally.

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

Notes to editors
1. 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.
2. For more information on the ATOL scheme including a guide to the ATOL certificate please visit www.packpeaceofmind.couk.
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; and regulating airports, air traffic services and airlines and providing advice on aviation policy.