Financial and Business|

Holiday Atol protection to expand

More holidaymakers will be protected from any losses when a travel agents or company goes bust, it has been confirmed by the government.

So far, package holidays are currently already covered by the Atol, or Air Travel Organisers’ Licensing, scheme, which ensures refunds for all customers that have bookings with a tour operator that has to fold.

The coalition government said that, once the end of the year comes, flights and hotel rooms or other types of accommodation in a booking will also become covered. Although prices might rise, around six million more holidays might be protected.

Some large operators, along with the travel agents governing trade body, say that the proposals don’t stretch far enough as they exclude all flight-only deals. The CAA, or Civil Aviation Authority, currently runs the scheme, but only offers protection for people that who bought package deals as well as some flights in the event that their tour operator or agent goes bust.

Over the past 12 months, just over 43,630 holidaymakers had to be flown back from the holiday destinations they were enjoying time at. On the other hand, 132,820 received refunds on all holiday costs once their tour operator plunged into administration.

The scheme started in the early 70s and last had an overhaul in 1995. While it has now become common for holidaymakers to make their bookings online, many have found that they weren’t protected even and were under the illusion that they had purchased all elements of their holidays.

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