An overview of ATOL Reform
The Government announced that the revised ATOL Regulations will come into effect on 30 April 2012. These aim to provide clarity to consumers over exactly what is, and is not, protected.
The main changes from the existing ATOL Regulations are as follows:
The revised ATOL Regulations will state that a person needs an ATOL to arrange and sell a holiday which includes a flight with accommodation and/or car hire, regardless of whether or not it is a package. More details on this can be found here.
This is a document which must be issued with the sale of every ATOL protected trip and replaces current documentation requirements.
More detailed information on the ATOL Certificate can be found here.
From 30 April all ATOL holders must have written agreements with their agents. The revised ATOL Regulations allow the CAA to set specific terms which must be included in these agreements. A proposed Schedule of Agency Terms has been included in the draft Official Record Series 3, which can be found here.
The revised ATOL Regulations will allow a person to undertake licensable business without the need to obtain an ATOL if they are a member of an Accredited Body. An Accredited Body is an organisation that will hold an ATOL and be accredited by the CAA so that its members can trade under its ATOL. The CAA is in discussion with a number of organisations who are interested in being accredited for this purpose, details of which will be on the ATOL website when available.
Airline Ticket Agents
The concept of Ticket Provider and its definition will be changed so that agents must now be authorised by the airline to be an Airline Ticket Agent and issue a “confirmed” ticket in order to sell Flight-Only without ATOL protection.