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UK-EU Transition

References to EU regulation or EU websites in our guidance will not be an accurate description of your obligations or rights under UK law.

Consumers who book an ATOL protected flight or trip must be issued with an ATOL Certificate immediately on payment of any money. What is meant by “immediately”?

An ATOL Certificate must be supplied immediately a first payment (whether in full or in part) is accepted from a consumer towards a flight or flight-inclusive trip that requires ATOL protection. If a travel business cannot supply an ATOL Certificate immediately, it must not take payment until it can. Immediately means:

a) in the case of a consumer who is present, providing the ATOL Certificate to the consumer at the same time payment is made, or sending the ATOL Certificate to that consumer by electronic communication;
b) in the case of a consumer who is not present, immediately sending the ATOL Certificate by electronic communication; or
c) in the case of a consumer who makes a booking by telephone, either sending the ATOL Certificate by electronic communication or immediately posting the ATOL Certificate.

You (or your agent) may not accept any payment from a consumer until you or your agent is able to issue an ATOL Certificate.

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Who is the “ATOL Certificate issuer” on an ATOL Certificate?

The Issuer should be the name of the business interfacing with the consumer. This is regardless of who generates the ATOL Certificate and provides it to the consumer. For example, if a consumer books a licensable package with an agent, but the ATOL Certificate is generated by the ATOL holder and e-mailed directly to the consumer, the Issuer box should still state the name of the agent.

If an ATOL holder has given an agent authority to act on its behalf for a flight-inclusive package or Flight-Only (i.e. provided an agency agreement) it is the agent's responsibility under the ATOL Regulations to ensure that the ATOL Certificate is provided to the consumer at the point of accepting payment. This can be achieved in several ways, for example:

The agent issues the ATOL Certificate immediately, which the agent has generated from its own system

  • The ATOL holder gives the agent the facility to provide the consumer the ATOL Certificate directly from its (the ATOL holder's) system immediately any payment is accepted by the agent
  • The method should be agreed between ATOL holders and their appointed agents but if the ATOL holder does not have the facility to enable agents to have immediate access to an ATOL Certificate generated by the principal ATOL holder, the default position is that the agent must issue an ATOL Certificate when accepting payment.
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What do I put under "number of passengers" if I do not have these details confirmed when a deposit is paid?

Known passenger numbers (excluding infants) should be inserted on the ATOL Certificate at time of issue. A new ATOL Certificate must then be supplied each time any of the details on the ATOL Certificate changes, including changes in the number of passengers. The only exception is where details change within 72 hours of departure, in which case there is no requirement to supply an amended ATOL Certificate.

Infants should not be included in the “number of passengers” section of the certificate.

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If I provide the customer with a passenger list, do I still need to detail “who is protected” on an ATOL Certificate?

Yes. The required information must be set out on the ATOL Certificate. For Single and Multi-contract Packages, this can be limited to the lead name. However, for Flight-Only ATOL Certificates, all known names (including infants) must be specified.

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If I provide the customer with a booking Confirmation, do I still need to detail “what is protected” on an ATOL Package Certificate?

Yes. An ATOL Certificate must be issued immediately upon taking any payment from the customer with full details as required of "what is protected".

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Can I include un-protected components on the ATOL Certificate?

No. The ATOL Certificate must only list components protected together as a licensable booking.

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The CAA’s guidance says that for a Package Multi-contract ATOL Certificate, the 'Other' section should include other booking components (E.g. transfers and attraction tickets). Is there a definitive list of components that should be included?

Package Multi-contract ATOL Certificates should include all "other tourist services" sold in connection with and requested within a day of the flight.

Regulation 24 (2) of the Civil Aviation (Air Travel Organisers' Licensing) Regulations 2012 defines other tourist services as those that:

  • are not ancillary to flight accommodation or living accommodation;
  • account for a significant proportion of the Flight-Plus;
  • were supplied under or in connection with the contract for the flight accommodation; and
  • were requested to be booked by or on behalf of the consumer on the same day as the consumer requested to book the flight accommodation, the previous day or the next day.
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In what circumstances do I need to re-issue an ATOL Certificate?

If any of the information in the ATOL Certificate changes more than 72 hours before the consumer is due to depart, an amended ATOL Certificate should be supplied to the consumer as soon as possible.

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If I need to reissue an ATOL Certificate, what are the timescales for this?

If a revised ATOL Certificate needs to be reissued, it should be received by the consumer as soon as possible.

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Can I put my own branding on the ATOL Certificate?

No. The ATOL Certificate must not be printed on branded paper. It should be produced as per the format set out by the CAA.

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Does the ATOL Certificate need to be printed in yellow?

The ATOL Certificate design includes a yellow background which must be included on any electronic versions. However, if the document is given out as a hard copy, it may be printed in black and white.

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What versions are there of the Certificate? Is there a Microsoft Word version?

There is no Word version but a form field PDF version of each certificate is available.

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We can only fit some information into the certificate but the formatting in the editable cells means that we cannot fill in enough information.

This is caused by using an old version of Adobe Reader to fill out/view the form. You need to download the latest version of Adobe Reader (free) and retype the information into a newly opened PDF form.

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Why does the font typed in PDF form field appear larger than specified?

This is caused by using an old version of Adobe Reader to fill out/view the form. You need to download the latest version of Adobe Reader (free) and retype the information into a newly opened PDF form.

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I have Macintosh Preview and the text in PDF Form is blank unless you click in a field. What should I do?

This is caused by using Macintosh Preview (or other third-party software) rather than Adobe Reader to fill out the form. You need to download the latest version of Adobe Reader (free) and retype the information into a newly opened PDF form.

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