About ATOL Tour Operator Failures

How ATOL Protects your holiday and money.

Customers On Holiday

For those customers abroad we need to find out whether they are likely to have any problems staying in their holiday accommodation. If, for example, the tour operator had not made payments for accommodation, it is possible that customers will not be able to continue their stay; they may be asked to pay for the accommodation themselves.

The CAA’s Role - The CAA works to avoid customer inconvenience and distress by contacting accommodation suppliers of the failed tour operator and making the necessary arrangements to ensure customers can complete their stay and link up with their return flights. If an accommodation supplier insists on payment from customers, the CAA will organise a refund to them when they return to the UK.

Repatriation from abroad

Passengers could be stranded if they are unable to fly back to the UK.

The CAA’s Role is to avoid having passengers stranded abroad the CAA checks to make sure flights back to the UK will operate as planned.

If they are on a scheduled flight, we make sure their flight reservations are in place and that they can travel. If a charter, we check to ensure the airline will operate the service. If the tour operator failed to make payment for seats on a flight we will do so and guarantee these for the passengers or, if necessary, we will source seats on alternative flights.

Forward Bookings

Passengers with advance bookings won’t usually be able to travel on their holiday. This is because their holiday arrangements, including accommodation, are no longer available or return flights cannot be guaranteed.

Where a customer has only booked scheduled flights and has tickets or e-tickets, these arrangements will usually be honoured.  

Making a Claim

The refund process is quite straightforward; customers should complete a Bond Claim Form and provide evidence that they had a contract with a failed ATOL holder for a flight inclusive holiday or flight and have lost money due to the failure. Claims can be made whether a booking was made direct with a tour operator or through an appointed agent.

In some cases where payment has been made by credit card, the card company will be liable to make a refund under the Consumer Credit Act.

Customers can also claim for things like accommodation costs incurred if they were abroad when the company ceased trading. Under normal circumstances, we hope to make refunds within 6 weeks of receipt of a complete claim.

What's not covered

If you book directly with an airline or through an airline agent you won’t be ATOL protected. You should consider insurance to provide some cover.

If you are booked with an (ATOL) tour operator and the airline you are due to fly on holiday with stops operating, the tour operator is required to provide alternative flight arrangements for your holiday, provide a different holiday of a similar standard or a refund.

If as a result of the airline’s failure the tour operator closed down too, customers are protected by the company’s ATOL.

Non-air holiday packages are not protected by the ATOL scheme, but should be covered by other bonding schemes like those operated by ABTA and AiTO. Accommodation only might not be bonded, so check with the supplier.

Making an ATOL Claim

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) administers the Air Travel Organisers’ Licensing (ATOL) Scheme which provides financial protection to those taking flight based holidays.

It also protects licensable Flight-Only sales where bookings are made with an ATOL holder and valid tickets are not issued immediately.

The documents below set out the payment policy of the ATTF in respect of this.

ATT Claims Payment Policy for Failures occurring on or after 6 August 2012

ATT Claims Payment Policy for Failures occurring between 1 May 2011 - 5 August 2012.


List of Failures

If you are affected by the collapse of an ATOL tour operator please check our list of latest failures for further information and detail on how to make a claim.

Please ensure all requested documentation is supplied along with a fully completed claim form.

List of Failed ATOL Tour Operators