Tour operator fined for breaching Atol rules

Tour operator fined for breaching Atol rules

A tour operator has been fined and ordered to pay compensation to customers after admitting to breaching Atol regulations.

The CAA brought the case against Leamington Spa-based Russian Gateway after complaints from several customers who had bought flight packages.

Alan Steel, a director of Russian Gateway yesterday pleaded guilty on the company’s behalf to four counts of breaching the Atol regulations.

Leamington Spa Magistrates’ Court ordered compensation of £12,944 be paid to three Russian Gateway customers, and fined the company £2,000 plus £639 in legal costs.

The CAA said it decided to prosecute Russian Gateway following “several customer complaints” concerning bookings accepted by the company for flight packages which had not been provided and for which they had not been refunded.

Mark Hydes, team manager Atol enforcement, said: “The experiences of the customers who made complaints regarding Russian Gateway (UK) Limited clearly illustrate the risks of booking air holidays with businesses that do not hold Atols.”

The CAA’s prosecution of Russian Gateway comes as the UK Atol regulations are about to be extended to cover Flight-Plus component bookings on April 30.

Diane Park, CAA enforcement manager, added: “The CAA will continue to investigate businesses which it believes may be breaching the Atol regulations, and will always bring prosecutions where it is in the public interest to do so.”


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