The Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA), a UK-based travel agency association, is offering a new checklist for travellers.
The ‘Your Protection Checklist’ advises consumers on the holiday booking process and offers guidance on the documentation required for safe travel. The list will be updated from time to time to reflect the changes brought in by the government through reforms, and will also include the ATOL financial protection scheme.
Mark Tanzer, the ABTA chief executive officer, said, ‘ABTA welcomes the implementation of ATOL Certificates as a helpful step forward in providing consumers with evidence of their protection under the ATOL system of financial protection and also for streamlining the ATOL claims process.
However, there is still much confusion about what holiday arrangements are or are not protected by ATOL and therefore what paperwork consumers should expect to receive. ATOL certificates are only evidence of ATOL protected holidays.
ABTA estimates that around 50 percent of holiday arrangements sit outside of the ATOL scheme. Some of these will be ABTA protected, for example cruise and rail holidays, some may not be protected at all. Your Protection Checklist will help holidaymakers to understand what to look for and what documentation they need. We also advise consumers to always check what is protected when making a booking.’
ATOL is a UK based scheme that offers protection to UK holidaymakers in case the travel company is unable to meet its responsibilities. All travel companies in the UK that sell air tickets must be licensed under the ATOL scheme.
ABTA has warned travellers that holiday packages offered by airlines are currently exempt from ATOL scheme, a fact that most customers who buy such packages in the UK are unaware of.