DfT unveils ATOL consultation

The Department for Transport (DfT) has unveiled plans to improve the ATOL scheme in a 12-week consultation launched today. 

Transport Secretary Andrew Adonis confirmed the reforms would provide greater clarity for consumers and the travel trade about the scope of ATOL protection for holidays and flights.

The consultation is looking at a range of options:

  • ‘Flight plus’ measures whereby ATOL protection would include all sales of a flight together with another significant holiday element such as car hire 

  • Options to clarify the financial protection of flight-only sales, by parties other than an airline

  • Standard ATOL documentation should be issued to passengers so that they are clear about their financial protection status.

Adonis said: “The ATOL scheme has remained a source of reassurance for travellers since it was drawn up in the 1970s. However, since that time, there have been big changes to travel patterns. The concept of a package holiday has become blurred, as many holidays are now sold through mix-and-match components. 

“Consumers must be able to make informed choices. The changes we are proposing will help ensure that the scheme remains relevant to the way people book their holidays today and still offers excellent protection for travellers.”

Other changes being confirmed today mean that the Civil Aviation Authority will be given responsibility for airport economic regulation to promote the interests of passengers.

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