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.