More security for stranded holidaymakers

Published Monday, 30 April 2012
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Holidaymakers travelling abroad are to be given increased protection in the event of their airline, accommodation provider or car hire company going bust, under new reforms to a protected booking scheme.

More security for stranded holidaymakers
Holidaymakers making Flight-Plus bookings will be offered better protection. (© Getty)

Under the Air Travel Organiser's License or ATOL scheme, holidaymakers on package deals are protected in the event of their tour operator or travel agent going out of business.

But from Monday, flights sold in conjunction with overseas accommodation and/or car hire - but not necessarily as package deals - are now covered by ATOL.

Anyone then left stranded as a result of a travel company going into insolvency must be provided with an alternative flight home, or alternative accommodation or car hire as necessary, or a full refund for any unused elements of their holiday.

But the protection for deals known as "Flight-Plus" still does not apply in some circumstances.

Flights, accommodation and car hire purchased separately and from different companies do not qualify - nor do flights purchased with accommodation or car hire directly from an airline website, although bookings made through an airline's holiday company website do qualify.

Domestic flights are not protected or flights booked in the UK but departing from the Republic of Ireland.

To qualify for Flight-Plus protection, the flight, accommodation and or car hire must also be booked within one day of each other.

"If a holidaymaker is in any doubt whether their holiday is protected by ATOL, they should check with the seller before they book," Scott Kennerley, Head of Transport at the Consumer Council, said.

"Consumers can also contact the Consumer Council for more information on the Flight-Plus scheme by ringing our Contact Centre on 0800 121 6022 or downloading our factsheet."

From October 2012, all consumers who make an ATOL protected booking will receive a certificate confirming that their holiday is covered by the scheme.
© UTV News
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