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Protection for holidaymakers to be extended

Protection for holidaymakers to be extended

Category: Travel insurance

Updated: 26/11/2012
First Published: 23/06/2011

This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

Millions more holidaymakers could soon be protected from losses should their tour operator go bust.

Aviation Minister Theresa Villiers said that under plans that are set to be implemented at the beginning of next year, the scope of the Air Travel Operators' Licence (ATOL) is to be extended.

ATOL covers people should their airline or tour operator go bankrupt.

In 2010 alone, 190,000 holidaymakers were repatriated or received full refunds when their operator went out of business.

Under the proposals, an extra six million people a year would be covered under the scheme.

This would include many holidays which look like packages that are currently covered by ATOL but fall outside existing legislation.

These include 'flight plus' packages which include a flight and other holiday components within two successive days.

The new rules will also:

  • Ensure everyone booking ATOL protected holidays will get a recognisable ATOL certificate confirming their rights under the scheme for refunds and repatriation should their travel company fail.
  • Help ensure that 'agent for the consumer' businesses arranging holidays are fully aware of their legal responsibilities to consumers.

"While the chances of a holiday company going under are thankfully very low, the impact on those affected can be significant," said Ms Villiers.

"Recent years have highlighted not only how important financial protection is to holidaymakers, but also the fact that the ATOL scheme is in urgent need of reform.

"We have always been clear about our commitment to modernising the ATOL scheme, and these proposals are an important step towards achieving just that."

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