What is ATOL? Air Travel Organiser’s Licence (ATOL) is a mandatory scheme regulated by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), which protects customers who have booked holiday packages or flights with a UK travel company.
• What are the benefits to customers?
Booking with an ATOL member ensures your money is safe if the travel company goes bankrupt, and that you will be repatriated if you are abroad when this happens. Organisations must pass CAA inspections to ensure their business practices meet UK government standards.
• How can I tell if my holiday is ATOL protected?
Check the company’s website or brochure for the ATOL logo. By law, a UK travel agent must issue a certificate detailing the coverage as soon as you book the holiday. If in doubt, contact them asking for confirmation.
• What if I book without a travel agent?
If you arrange your flights and accommodation separately with a non-ATOL member company, you may find yourself stranded or out of pocket. Some travel insurance policies offer protection from airline failure. However, check the small print before purchasing, as there may be certain conditions.
By Daniel Wheeler