The Civil Aviation Authority has responded to demands it clarify the extent of agents’ liability for consumer refunds under the proposed flight-plus Atol by saying the industry must await details from the Department for Transport.
The government intends the new licence, to be introduced early next year, to cover retail sales of flights and accommodation.
On Holiday Group chief executive Steve Endacott has demanded to know whether agents who book a flight with a customer’s credit card would be liable for a refund if an airline failed.
Endacott said: “Booking with a customer’s credit card removes the risk of a chargeback from a card provider.” He added: “It is not acceptable to wait for the DfT [consultation] paper.”
However, a CAA spokesperson said: “The CAA implements government policy; the government is the policymaker. The CAA is not in a position to comment on Mr Endacott’s views at this time.”
The Department for Transport is finalising a consultation paper on the detail of flight plus and its introduction.
An industry source told Travel Weekly: “The delay is frustrating, but Steve Endacott will just have to wait like everyone else.”
It is expected the consultation document will address many of the industry’s concerns.
However, Endacott warned: “Online travel agents (OTAs) will act as agents of the customer, using customers’ credit cards to book flights, and drive a coach and horses through the reform.” He asked: “What is the point of a scheme that the major OTAs will avoid?”
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