On The Beach is offering customers complete financial protection after acquiring an Air Travel Organiser’s Licence (Atol).
All money paid by On The Beach customers will go into a trust fund until they take the holiday or service they have bought.
The company is the first major online travel agent (OTA) to offer full financial protection. Its Atol licence is for 300,000 holidaymakers and its trust arrangements have been approved by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and travel association Abta.
On The Beach chief marketing officer Alistair Daly said: “We carried out research with consumers and they said they wanted protection. People are more aware of what Atol and Abta means after all the failures of the last couple of years.”
The financial protection will apply to all new bookings, including hotel-only, flight-only and “flight-plus” sales, and also cover all customers waiting to travel and those in resort.
Other online retailers offer only partial protection, causing confusion among customers and leaving many out of pocket when something goes wrong.
Wendy Parry, On The Beach chief financial officer, said: “We have developed the perfect solution for customers having worked with the CAA. Our new Atol licence and our Atol/Abta-approved trust fund will allow customers to book in complete confidence, safe in the knowledge that their holiday is 100% protected whatever travel component is booked.
“We urge all consumers to check the terms and conditions of other online travel agencies prior to completing the booking as their holiday may not be 100% protected.”
How the On The Beach will guarantee financial protection
> Scheduled flights booked online or via its call centre are protected under Atol
>No-frills flights are protected by a combination of failure insurance and the trust fund
>Overseas hotel accommodation, transfers, airport parking and car hire are covered by the trust fund