‘Flexibility’ required for Atol deadline date

‘Flexibility’ required for Atol deadline date

Agents have just four weeks from Monday to obtain Flight-Plus licences amid growing concern at the deadline and increasing demands for delay.

Abta has already asked the Department for Transport to postpone the start date for agency agreements, with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) saying “a bit of flexibility” might be possible.

However, details of the Abta-CAA co-administration scheme that would license association members have still to be announced. An Abta spokeswoman said it had concerns about outstanding issues. “Key elements of the implementation timetable are looking unrealistic.”

The Association of Atol Companies (AAC) declared the April 30 deadline “impossible” and agents “unprepared” in a submission to a CAA consultation last week.AAC legal adviser Alan Bowen said there were “too many unanswered questions and we see real risks”.

However, others said they were ready. Travel Network Group managing director Gary Lewis said: “The TTA is all sorted and we have a number of solutions for Worldchoice members.”

Travel Counsellors, the only organisation to achieve Accredited Body status, announced it would offer Flight-Plus cover regardless of the official 48-hour time limit.

Chairman David Speakman said: “We will make anything booked up until the date of departure a Flight-Plus booking.”

He spoke after the UK’s leading travel law professor warned lawyers could “have a field day” with Flight-Plus. Professor David Grant said: “I may book a flight for six months’ time and say I want accommodation, but wait to book it. Is that Flight-Plus?”


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