EasyJet Holidays and other airlines selling holidays would be brought into the consumer-protection regime through an extension of Atol licensing by legislation proposed next year, the CAA has confirmed.
Addressing an aviation conference in London last week, David Moesli, the CAA’s consumer protection group deputy director, said: “Primary legislation would bring easyJet Holidays in. But it would not bring all airline flights in, just airline holidays.
“The government is quite clear about that. It wants to bring in airlines that sell holidays.”
The extension would form part of a Transport Bill projected to become law in 2013.
Moesli also confirmed that ‘click-through’ sales involving companies other than scheduled airlines are targeted by the Flight-Plus Atol proposals that are currently the subject of consultation. Click-through sales involve a customer buying a flight on one site and clicking to another for a room or car hire.
Moesli said: “The Department for Transport position is if it looks like a holiday, it needs to be protected.”
Lawyer Stephen Mason of Travlaw said: “Click-throughs done by anyone other than airlines are included.” He described the wording of the proposed regulation as “extremely wide and rather vague”.
Draft Regulation 23 defines a Flight-Plus arranger as one who “has taken or takes any step intended to include, facilitate or enable, or has the effect of including, facilitating or enabling the inclusion” of a flight as a component of a Flight-Plus.
The DfT says in an accompanying document that it intends “the definition . . . should be interpreted widely” and include “entering into arrangements with an unrelated supplier, including electronically . . . [and] setting up separate companies”.
Video: CAA chief on Flight-Plus
David Moesli spoke to Travel Weekly's TWnewsmaker interview series about the rationale behind Atol reform plans
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