The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) is advising holidaymakers to make sure their holidays are financially protected after a recent survey found that British holidaymakers are more concerned about getting the best possible deal than they are about making sure their holiday is protected.
In the survey of 1,421 people, which was carried out by Opinion Matters on behalf of the CAA, it was found that:
- Almost half (46%) of people surveyed are more concerned with getting the cheapest deal than they are about protecting their hard-earned holiday
- More than a third (37%) don’t fully understand the benefit of ATOL protection
- Almost one in five (17%) never read the small print when they book a holiday.
The CAA runs the ATOL scheme which ensures that holidaymakers don’t lose their money and are not left stranded abroad if their holiday company goes bust – providing the holiday is covered by ATOL.
The ATOL (Air Travel Organiser’s Licence) scheme covers the traditional package holiday, some individual flights and since April 2012 holidays known by the industry as ‘Flight-Plus’. A ‘Flight-Plus’ booking is one that includes a flight plus accommodation and/or car hire, so long as these separate parts of the holiday are booked with the same company and within a day of each other.
David Clover from ATOL, said: “Whilst it is understandable that nearly half of UK adults are more concerned with getting the cheapest deal than making sure they are financially protected, there’s a real risk people could leave themselves open to losing their money if something goes wrong with their booking.
“But holidaymakers can easily avoid this risk by booking an ATOL protected holiday. Doing this will guarantee their money is safe and they won’t be left stranded abroad – even if their travel company goes bust.”
The ATOL scheme has issued more than 170,000 refunds to customers whose ATOL-protected travel company has collapsed in the last three years, with more than 60,000 Brits brought home from abroad. Holidaymakers booking holidays can check for ATOL protection by taking three simple steps:
- Look for the ATOL logo on a travel company’s promotional material
- Check the name of the company at www.packpeaceofmind.co.uk
- Make sure they receive an ATOL certificate with their booking.