UK holidaymakers are being reminded to check their air holiday is ATOL protected, following the recent failure of two tour operators. 

Diamond Shortbreak Holidays Ltd (ATOL holder 9357), which also traded as Diamond Holidays, Diamond Rail Holidays and The River Cruise Line, ceased trading on 16 March 2017. 

The company, which specialised in European river cruises, had around 500 ATOL protected forward bookings, however there were no ATOL protected passengers abroad.     

The tour operator, which was based in Leicestershire, sold largely non-flight package holidays, which were financially protected under separate arrangements with ABTA (advice included below). 

On The Ball Sports Marketing Limited (ATOL holder 10430) ceased trading on 13 March 2017, with a small number of ATOL protected forward bookings, but no one abroad at the time.

Whilst these collapses could have potentially resulted in consumers being left out of pocket, those with ATOL certificates have the peace of mind that the money they paid for their flight and accommodation is safe.

Timely warning

As many UK holidaymakers look to book their summer breaks in the early part of 2017, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), which runs the ATOL scheme, is advising people looking to book trips involving flights to take four easy steps to avoid losing their money or being left stranded abroad should their travel company cease to trade:

  1. Check - prior to booking, check whether you will be ATOL protected with your travel company
  2. Book - once you've checked your protection, book your holiday with no extra fuss
  3. Receive - you should receive your ATOL certificate when you book your holiday
  4. Take - make sure you keep your ATOL certificate handy when you go on holiday

Andy Cohen, Head of ATOL at the CAA, said: 

“The collapse of these two tour operators is a timely reminder of why it is so important for people to check they will receive an ATOL certificate when they book their holidays.

“Booking an unprotected holiday could leave you out of pocket or stranded abroad if something goes wrong with your travel company.

“Thanks to the ATOL scheme, ATOL protected customers have peace of mind that their money is safe even if their travel company stops trading.   

“So if you are looking for a package holiday with flights, remember to check you will receive an ATOL certificate before you hand over any money.”

UK holidaymakers are also reminded that not all travel companies trading in the UK provide ATOL protection. To check if a company provides ATOL protection and to find out more about the ATOL scheme, please visit www.packpeaceofmind.co.uk.

Passenger information

  • For passengers affected by the collapse of Diamond Shortbreak Holidays Ltd the CAA has published advice and a claim form. If you booked a non-flight package holiday please visit the ABTA website for more information.
  • On The Ball Sports Marketing Limited, was based in London, and traded under the names On The Ball Sports and English Cricket Tours and under the websites www.ontheballsports.co.uk and www.englishcrickettours.co.uk. For passengers affected by this company the CAA has published advice and a claim form.

Media enquiries

For more information, please contact the CAA Press Office, on press.office@caa.co.uk, or 020 7453 6030. You can also follow the CAA on Twitter at @UK_CAA

Notes to editors

  • Run by the UK Civil Aviation Authority on behalf of the Government, the Air Travel Organiser's Licence (ATOL) scheme covers the traditional package holiday, some individual flights and since April 2012 trip known by the industry as 'Flight-Plus'. A 'Flight-Plus' booking is one that includes a flight plus accommodation and/or car hire, so long as these separate parts of the holiday are booked with the same company and within a day of each other.
  • Anyone booking an ATOL protected holiday should receive an ATOL certificate from their travel company once they make any payment. This confirms their trip is financially protected, even if the travel company or one of its suppliers goes bust.
  • For more information on the ATOL scheme including a guide to the ATOL certificate, please visit www.packpeaceofmind.co.uk.
  • The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) is the UK's specialist aviation regulator. Its regulatory activities range from making sure that the aviation industry meets the highest technical and operational safety standards to preventing holidaymakers from being stranded abroad or losing money because of tour operator insolvency.