Millions of UK holidaymakers clearer on financial protection as ATOL certificate marks first anniversary

Date: 01 October 2013

Millions of holidaymakers now benefit from being able to easily check if their trip is financially protected or not thanks to the ATOL certificate, which came into force a year ago today.

The ATOL certificate confirms to customers they have booked an ATOL protected trip and will be covered if their travel company goes bust. Since being launched last year, an estimated 10 million certificates have been issued (covering around 20 million passengers) bringing much-needed clarity to what was previously a confusing picture for consumers.

Any travel business selling ATOL protected trips must issue a certificate to the customer as soon as any payment is made – whether the booking is in person, online or over the phone. With the certificate successfully implemented by the travel industry the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), which runs the ATOL scheme, is reminding holidaymakers to check they’ll receive a certificate before booking their winter breaks or summer 2014 holidays.

Richard Jackson, Director for Consumer Protection at the CAA, said:
“The ATOL certificate has helped make the previously complicated issue of financial protection simple for consumers: if you get an ATOL certificate with your booking your trip is protected; if you don’t you are not.

“It’s therefore vital that if you’re looking to book a trip abroad involving flights you check with your travel company that you will get an ATOL certificate before you hand over any money. So long as you receive a certificate, you’ll have the peace of mind your trip is protected even if something happens to your travel company.”

Holidaymakers looking for more information about how the ATOL scheme protects their trip should visit www.packpeaceofmind.co.uk. The site allows visitors to check if a company provides ATOL protection, provides further information about the certificate and includes simple explanations of how the ATOL scheme protects you when booking trips involving flights.

Businesses not issuing ATOL certificates with protected bookings will be in breach of the ATOL Regulations 2012 and may face enforcement action.

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

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

-ENDS-

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 further information on how the ATOL scheme protects holidaymakers please visit www.packpeaceofmind.co.uk.
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.