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Changes to ATOL

Increased protection for travellers in 2018

  • Published on

Changes to ATOL

Since 1973 ATOL has been providing protection for British holidaymakers who book package holidays including flights. This means that, should your holiday company, find itself in financial difficulty and fold, you won’t be stranded abroad and you’ll receive compensation. ATOL protection applies to virtually any holiday overseas that is booked with a UK travel company.

changes to atol
Easyjet offers links to accommodation and car hire providers

changes to atol logoIn recent years, the travel industry has changed rapidly. The ABTA Holiday Habits report, published in 2016, stated that in 2016 76% of people booked their holiday online compared to only 19% booking in person at a travel agent. This figure is likely to have risen in 2017 and will continue to do so. ATOL, having taken part in a government review of the scheme, have had new legislation passed that will cover holidaymakers who book separate parts of their holiday online.

How does the new legislation work?

Given ATOL pertains to the Air Travel Organisers’ Licence, you’ll need to have booked your flight online. IF you are directed to an accommodation and/or car hire page from your flight provider and you book on these sites within 24 hours of your flight booking, you will now be fully covered by ATOL.

Changes to ATOL will come into effect in 2018, but for now here’s some things to watch out for in terms of when you may not be protected by ATOL.

  • ATOL is only provided by companies who are headquartered in the UK, if you don’t see the ATOL symbol and you cannot see an office address on the travel provider’s website, do a company check here
  • You should receive an ATOL certificate when you book your holiday. This explains how you are protected, if you don’t have one, request it.
  • All genuine ATOL holders should display the ATOL Protected logo and their unique licence number. If you do not see one, ask for the company’s licence number.
  • Each unique licence number is four to five digits long, and may include a T at the start
  • The following websites have been identified by the Civil Aviation Authority as falsy claiming to be ATOL registered (correct at April 2017)
    • brightwaytravels.com
    • cheapticketuk.com
    • expert-travel.co.uk
    • flyolondon.co.uk
    • orinflights.co.uk
    • primeexpresstravel.co.uk
    • serenityflights.co.uk
    • skylinetravelsuk.co.uk
    • skystartravel.co.uk
    • travelomakers.co.uk
    • travelshub.co.uk
    • travelyme.com
    • worldstartravels.co.uk

For more information on ATOL protection go to the CAA website and for increased protection whilst abroad, always purchase travel insurance.

 

Auther
Louise Boxall

Louise Boxall

Louise has 10 years experience in Travel Journalism, Blog Writing and Research in the Travel Insurance sector. Louise’s goal is to provide interesting, informative articles on subjects we know will interest our customers.

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