Industry welcomes Atol overhaul

Industry welcomes Atol overhaul

The industry has welcomed the publication of a document revealing details of the new Flight-Plus Atol for retailers this morning.

A 12-week consultation on the extension of financial protection to travellers buying a flight and accommodation, car hire or transfers as separate components from a single retailer launches today. The government aims to have the new flight-plus licence in place by January 1.

Noel Josephides, Aito Council member, said the consultation was the "first step" in bringing consumer protection up to date.

"It is heartening to see that the government is going further to protect travel arrangements that look like packages.

"Aito will work to make sure the pitfalls for customers of companies acting as agents will be pointed out and constantly monitored.”

Jonathan Wall from Elman Wall Travel Accountants said travel companies would no longer be able to avoid regulation.

“Those whose business model relies on staying outside regulation which protects holidaymakers who give those companies monies upfront will find themselves under more and more pressure. Those who focus on loopholes are playing a short term and self defeating game-the CAA are committed to closing down loopholes over time.

"Most travel businesses recognise that holidaymakers should have complete financial protection and will consider during the consultation period how they can integrate new processes and procedures into their operations quickly and efficiently."

He urged travel companies to respond to the consultation, although expect little change in the final regulation.

"From experience of other industries, government consultations are largely symbolic so we are advising clients not to expect massive changes in the final regulations.

"However, we would encourage those with considered views to respond as these can help in the shaping of the detail."


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