The UK’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) is urging holidaymakers that are booking getaways over the Easter holiday to make sure that they receive an ATOL (Air Travel Organisers’ Licensing) certificate for their travel.
The CAA is so concerned that travellers are overlooking the importance of being ATOL protected on their journeys that it is placing adverts in a number of daily newspapers to emphasise the point. The adverts are to appear in The Mirror, Sun, Daily and Sunday Express, Mail on Sunday, People and Daily Record this Saturday and Sunday, and online until Easter Monday.
This latest publicity is part of an awareness campaign that the CAA has been running since the beginning of this year, instigated by fears that holidaymakers have a conflict of priorities when booking a vacation that can lead to them taking ‘huge risks’. Many are inclined to jump at a cheap deal without taking into account the level of protection that the deal’s small print provides them with.
According to the CAA’s research, 46 percent of consumers prioritise a cheap deal over the protection that they are receiving, while 37 percent are totally unaware of the benefits of ATOL protection. 17 percent of respondents admitted to booking holidays without ever reading the small print.
However, figures show that over the last 3 years the collapse of ATOL-protected travel companies has led to 170,000 refunds to customers, while over 60,000 Britons have been brought home from abroad under the protection.
David Clover, an Atol spokesman, commented, ‘Whilst it is understandable that nearly half of UK adults are more concerned with getting the cheapest deal than making sure they are financially protected, there’s a real risk people could leave themselves open to losing their money if something goes wrong with their booking. But holidaymakers can easily avoid this risk by booking an Atol protected holiday. Doing this will guarantee their money is safe and they won’t be left stranded abroad – even if their travel company goes bust.’