Why is ATOL protection important?
ATOL stands for Air Travel Organiser’s Licence. It is the UK’s financial protection scheme, designed to protect consumers when booking an ATOL-protected holiday with an ATOL holder.
ATOL was first introduced in 1973, as the popularity of overseas holidays grew. After a number of travel business failures left people stranded, the UK Government realised consumers required protection when their travel providers fell into difficulties.
The scheme was designed to cover charter flights and package holidays. It was overhauled in 2012 and again in 2018 to keep pace with global changes.
What are the benefits?
ATOL stops you from losing money or becoming stranded abroad if the travel business you booked with collapses:
- If the business ceases trading while you are on holiday, the scheme will provide support to minimise disruption to your holiday.
- If the business collapses before you travel, the scheme will provide a refund or replacement holiday.
What does it cover?
An ATOL license ensures that customers will be looked after in case a company lets its customers down canceling its holidays or leaves them stranded overseas. It can provide full refunds or ensure people are able to finish their holidays confident they will be able to return.
The ATOL scheme also applies when you book a package that includes UK domestic flights, your holiday involves at least one flight to or from the UK (eg, a fly/cruise break where you travel out by ship and fly home) or you book flights (including UK domestic flights) but do not receive your tickets immediately. This is most common with charter flights and can also apply to discounted scheduled flights, but does not apply to holidays or flights booked directly with scheduled airlines or with airline ticket agents.
Please always check with our Travel Consultants if the package you are booking is covered by ATOL protection. Make sure you check everything is included on the certificate that should be covered.
Please follow this link to the CAA website for more information on ATOL Protection. https://www.caa.co.uk/ATOL-protection/