ATOL Reform Background

This page gives you some background information about ATOL Reform and Flight Plus.

For over 40 years the ATOL Scheme has provided financial protection to holidaymakers booking air holiday packages. However in recent years the market has changed significantly; the rise in sales of flights and overseas holiday accommodation on the internet means that more people are booking their holiday components separately. Many travel firms responded by offering dynamic holidays outside the ATOL Scheme and as a result the number of people protected by ATOL fell to only around 50% of holidaymakers being protected by ATOL. However, because financial protection was traditionally prevalent, the majority of consumers do not realise that the arrangements they buy today may not be ATOL protected and that they run the risk of losing their money if their travel firm fails.

The Government recognised the need to update the ATOL Scheme to bring it into line with new trade practices and provide clarity when customers book what appears to be a package holiday. The ATOL Regulations were therefore changed on 30 April 2012, which introduced the following main changes:

• Flight-Plus
• ATOL Certificates
• Agency Agreements
• Accredited Bodies
• Airline Ticket Agents 

For further information on the background and lead up to the introduction of the ATOL Regulations 2012, please click on the links in the timeline shown.

Timeline to Introduction of ATOL Regulations 2012

June 2011

July 2011

October 2011

              November 2011

              February 2012

              April 2012

June 2012