Flight-Plus is the term used in the ATOL Regulations 2012 to describe the type of holiday sale where a consumer requests to book a flight with accommodation and/or car hire at the same time or within a day, but where the way in which it is sold means that it is not a package holiday. These previously fell outside of the scope of the ATOL Regulations but from 30 April 2012 became "licensable bookings". This means that you now need an ATOL to sell this type of holiday and that the consumer will benefit from ATOL protection.
To find out more about Flight-Plus, please click on the questions below:
The growth of airlines and the increase in telephone and Internet bookings means that the way holidays were sold has changed and there was much confusion amongst the public about whether their holidays were protected in the event of a travel company failure. Flight-Plus was part of the ATOL reform programme, which was designed to offer consumers greater financial protection, as well as improve clarity on which elements of their booking are protected.
No. Many businesses are selling holidays in a way that means that they are not packages. These have been termed as Flight-Plus in the ATOL Regulations 2012 and require ATOL protection. These have not replaced packages, which are also ATOL protected and are subject to additional legislation (Package Travel Regulations).
A package cannot also be a Flight-Plus, but may form part of a Flight-Plus if sold by an agent with additional overseas accommodation or car hire, at which point the agent must sell it under their ATOL as a Flight-Plus. If the arrangement is not a package, it is highly likely that it will be a Flight-Plus. It is important that businesses identify whether they are selling packages or Flight-Plus to ensure that they are fully aware of their responsibilities under the relevant Regulations.
There is not an ATOL specifically for Flight-Plus. Firms selling Flight-Plus should apply for an ATOL, and this will enable them to sell Flight-Plus, as well as packages and Flight-Only. For details on how to apply for an ATOL, please see the ' Choosing the right ATOL' page on this website.
A Flight-Plus is created when a customer "requests to book" a flight with accommodation or car hire. The request to book these components must be made within a day of each other. It is irrelevant as to when the booking is actually made or when the payment is taken for any of the components.
No. A Flight-Plus exists when a customer requests to book a flight with accommodation and/or car hire either on the same day, or a day either side of the flight. As such, if the customer requests a flight and then returns a week later with another request, it is not classed as a Flight-Plus.
The CAA is advising Flight-Plus arrangers to look at measures for protecting themselves in the event of supplier failure. For example, there are insurance policies available in the industry to cover such eventualities, and contributions may be available from the Air Travel Trust (see next question). However, the CAA is unable to recommend a particular product.
The Air Travel Trust in its published payment policy and has undertaken to meet claims from ATOL holders for flights where the supplier in a Flight-Plus was an ATOL holder and the Flight-Plus arranger was acting as agent. The Air Travel Trust has set an annual cap to each Flight-Plus arranger's claims at 2% of their annual licensable revenue (subject to a minimum £50,000 and maximum £2.5 million). Flight-Plus arrangers will also be required to pay the ATT a £25.00 administration charge for each passenger included in the booking that is subject to the claim. Details of the policy can be found on the ' Air Travel Trust' page.
Yes. A Flight-Plus must include any other tourist services requested on the same day or within a day, that are not ancillary to the flight or accommodation, which account for a significant proportion of the Flight-Plus and have been sold in connection with it.
No. Flight-Plus cannot be sold through agents. The agents themselves would need an ATOL to sell Flight-Plus.
If an agent provides a customer with overseas accommodation or car hire in addition to a flight inclusive package (if requested at the same time or within a day), this will be classed as Flight-Plus and require protection under the agent's ATOL. ATOL holders may not be aware of this happening and thus they should continue to issue an ATOL Certificate for the package. However, the agent will not be required to pass this on to the customer, but will be obliged by the ATOL Standard Terms to pass on the Confirmation for the package.
If an agent adds another tourist service such as attraction tickets or airport transfers to the package, this would not be classed as a Flight-Plus and is simply sold in addition to the package.
Yes, in some cases. A cruise is classed as a package comprising among other things accommodation and can therefore form part of a Flight-Plus if requested at the same time or within a day of a flight departing the UK. Equally, if the cruise departs from the UK and the customer returns to the UK from an overseas destination by flight, this will also be a Flight-Plus. This assumes that the business has identified that the arrangement is not classed as a flight-inclusive package.
The ATOL Regulations do not impose any legal obligations on Flight-Plus arrangers for these circumstances. Flight-Plus arrangers should seek their own legal advice regarding their contractual obligations.
A Flight-Plus must include a flight departing the UK or a flight into the UK, where the customer has commenced the journey from the UK using other transport, which was requested by the customer at the same time or within a day and made available by the agent. Consequently, this scenario would not be a Flight-Plus as the agent has not made available a flight into or out of the UK.
No. Domestic flights do not act as a catalyst for creating a Flight-Plus and do not form part of a Flight-Plus.
APC should be paid on both the package by the original ATOL holder and then also subsequently on the Flight-Plus by the Flight-Plus arranger. The fact that an agent arranges a Flight-Plus using another ATOL holder's package holiday does not mean that the ATOL holder providing the package does not need to pay APC.
There is no legal requirement to do this where the customer's request to book is outside the legal timescales. However, you can choose to reissue the ATOL certificate with all components included if you redefine it so that the customer has made a new request to book all the components at the same time.
The Flight-Plus arranger is responsible for sourcing and providing alternative arrangements where a supplier fails at no extra cost to the customer. A full refund should be the last resort, for example where no suitable alternatives are available or it makes the other arrangements wholly or partially unusable by the customer. A full refund should be mutually agreed by the customer and the Flight-Plus arranger as the best outcome.
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