Easter holiday bookers reminded to check for ATOL protection as London-based travel company ceases trading

Date: 14 April 2014

UK holidaymakers have been reminded of the importance of booking ATOL protected holidays, after the collapse of Mapmart Ltd – a London-based travel company specializing in package trips to Turkey.

Mapmart Ltd (ATOL holder 4286) ceased trading on Wednesday 9 April, with around 300 forward bookings. Whilst the collapse could have potentially resulted in consumers being left out of pocket, those with ATOL certificates have the peace of mind that their money is safe. Anyone booking an ATOL protected holiday should receive an ATOL certificate from their travel company once they make any payment. This confirms their trip is financially protected, even if the travel company or one of its suppliers goes bust.

As many UK holidaymakers look to book their summer breaks over the Easter period, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), which runs the ATOL scheme, is advising people looking to book holidays involving flights to take four easy steps to avoid losing their money or being left stranded abroad:

1. Check – prior to booking, check whether you will be ATOL protected with your travel company
2. Book – Once you’ve checked your protection, book your holiday with no extra fuss
3. Receive – You should receive your ATOL certificate when you book your holiday
4. Take – Make sure you keep your ATOL certificate handy

Richard Jackson, Group Director of Consumer Protection at the CAA, said:
“The collapse of Mapmart Ltd is a timely reminder of why it is so important for people to check they will receive an ATOL certificate when they book their holidays. Thanks to the ATOL scheme, the company’s customers will have peace of mind that their money is safe.

“However, it could have been a different story if those customers had booked a trip without ATOL protection. Booking an unprotected holiday could leave you out of pocket or stranded abroad if something goes wrong with your travel company, so it is vital people booking holidays this Easter remember to check they will get an ATOL certificate before they hand over any money.”

The CAA has published advice for anyone affected by the collapse of Mapmart Ltd on its website and further information including a claim form for those consumers with ATOL certificates wishing to claim refunds for their holidays will be available shortly.

UK holidaymakers are also reminded that not all travel companies trading in the UK provide ATOL protection. To check if a company provides ATOL protection and to find out more about the ATOL scheme, please visit www.packpeaceofmind.co.uk.

For media information, please contact the CAA Press Office on: 020 7453 6030 or press.office@caa.co.uk. Follow the CAA on Twitter at @UK_CAA. You can also follow ATOL on Twitter at @pacpeaceofmind

-ENDS-

Notes to editors
1. Mapmart Ltd was based in Hackney, east London and also traded as Alternative Travel and Turkish Riviera Golfing Holidays
2. 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.
3. For more information on the ATOL scheme including a guide to the ATOL certificate, please visit www.packpeaceofmind.co.uk.
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.