UK holidaymakers benefit from CAA’s ‘Pack Peace of Mind’ campaign

More holidaymakers are financially protecting their holidays and are benefiting from Civil Aviation Authority’s (CAA) ‘Pack Peace of Mind’ campaign, according to a research by the CAA, the UK’s specialist aviation regulator.

The ‘Pack Peace of Mind’ campaign seeks to spread awareness and understanding of ATOL certification among holidaymakers as they book their trips abroad. In its third year, the campaign was redesigned in 2015, with new imagery created around a family of animated suitcases and the use of television advertising for the first time.

Following this year’s campaign, the CAA commissioned market research with a representative sample of 1,500 consumers from across all regions of the UK.

The research found that an increasing number of people are now well informed about the benefits of booking an ATOL protected holiday. More tourists are now financially protecting their holidays abroad against travel company failure – 71 per cent said they protected their last holiday, up from 64 per cent in 2014. And 83 per cent are planning to financially protect their next holiday abroad as compared with 75 per cent in 2014.

David Moesli, the CAA’s Deputy Director of Consumer Protection, said: ‘With more holidaymakers now solely researching and booking online and with some overseas travel companies selling into the UK, it is vital consumers know what to look out for when booking their holidays.

‘Our research shows people are actively checking for protection before they book and we want to build on this – working in partnership with industry so we can ensure consumers know the facts through clear, easy-to-understand information and can book their holiday with peace of mind.’

Featured in a short animated video, the family-focused ‘Pack Peace of Mind’ campaign aims to encourage households to look beyond the price and check their air holiday is ATOL protected before they book. It stretched across a variety of media including newspapers, magazines and social media and was covered on radio and television news.

CAA also conducted a survey with ATOL holding travel agents and tour operators, which found that tour operators and travel agents considered the campaign to be effective in getting the message across in a fun away.

 

UK holidaymakers advised on importance of ATOL protected holidays

As holidaymakers look to book their summer breaks in the early part of 2015, Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), the UK’s specialist aviation regulator, has advised UK holidaymakers on the need and importance of booking ATOL protected holidays.

An ATOL – Air Travel Organiser’s Licence – protected holiday confirms that the trip is financially protected, even if the travel company or one of its suppliers fails or ceases to operate. Passengers booking ATOL-protected holidays will receive an ATOL certificate from their travel company on making the payment. Passengers will be required to carry the certificate during their travel to avoid losing their money or being left stranded abroad in case of any eventuality.

The advice comes after the collapse of Airliner Ltd – a Northwood, London-based travel company specialising in flight/cruise trips. When Airliner Limited ceased trading on January 22, it had around 500 forward bookings. While the collapse could have resulted in financial loses to customers, those with ATOL certificates are covered from any financial loss.

Andy Cohen, Head of ATOL at the CAA, said: ‘The collapse of Airliner Ltd 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. Thanks to the ATOL scheme, the company’s customers will have peace of mind that their money is safe. However, it could have been a different story if those customers had booked a trip without ATOL protection.

‘Booking an unprotected holiday could leave you out of pocket or stranded abroad if something goes wrong with your travel company. So if you are looking for a bargain air holiday in the early year sales, it is essential people check to make sure they will get an ATOL protection and receive an ATOL certificate before they hand over any money.’

The CAA, which runs the ATOL scheme on behalf of the Government, has published advice for anyone affected by the collapse of Airliner Ltd on its website, and a claim form is on the CAA website.

The CAA also cautions holidaymakers that travel companies trading in the UK do not all provide ATOL protection. More information on the ATOL scheme, including checking whether a company provides ATOL protection, is available at www.packpeaceofmind.co.uk.

 

UK holidaymakers urged to carry ATOL certificate

Holidaymakers in the UK are being urged to carry their ATOL certificate when setting off on their summer holiday.

Ahead of the summer holiday season, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) is advising passengers to make sure that they have easy access to their ATOL certificate when abroad. The certificate may be a paper copy, or as a document or attachment that could be accessed on a mobile phone or tablet device.

The advice comes as more than eight million passengers are expected to depart the UK for a relaxing summer break, despite the excellent weather at home.

The ATOL certificate authenticates that the holiday is financially protected and also confirms the agency protecting it. The authentication would imply that if the travel company fails, tourists will be refunded – or if already abroad, repatriated at no extra cost.

The ATOL certificate also explains what to do and who to contact if a travel operator fails.

Head of ATOL, Andy Cohen, said: ‘So long as you have an ATOL certificate you can rest assured your holiday is financially protected and, if your travel company collapses you will not lose out.

If you are yet to fly, we will make sure you receive a full refund and if you are abroad we will work to ensure you can finish your trip without disruption. It is important to take your ATOL certificate with you abroad, so you know what to do and who to contact, and you can continue to enjoy your holiday with the minimum of hassle.’

‘Many holidaymakers will be looking to snap-up a last minute deal with the hope of getting a cheaper price. However please don’t be too hasty and make sure you check the travel operator is ATOL protected and once booked you should receive an ATOL certificate immediately,’ he added.

By law, all holidaymakers buying an air holiday from a UK-based travel operator will receive an ATOL certificate. In case an ATOL holder collapses the primary source of funding is the Air Travel Trust (ATT), the CAA says in its release.

 

Civil Aviation Authority urges holidaymakers to ensure they have ATOL protection

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.’