The Civil Aviation Authority has issued a reminder to the trade that travel companies need permission before issuing the new Atol Certificate to customers.
The CAA will require businesses selling any Atol-protected holiday or flight to issue an Atol Certificate to clients from October 1. This will detail the aspects of a trip that are financially protected – whether a package holiday, a Flight-Plus or a flight-only booking.
Some companies have said they intend to issue certificates in advance of the October launch date, following the introduction of Flight-Plus licences next week.
However, the CAA said companies “must first meet the CAA’s criteria to demonstrate their systems are able to produce the certificate [and] gain fromal permission from the CAA to use the certificate before October 1”.
CAA consumer protection group deputy director David Moesli said: “Travel organisers do not have to start using the certificate until October 1, but we are aware that some may be ready before that date. It is vital that as well as meeting the criteria they remember they will not be able to use the certificate before October 1 unless they have our permission.”
A CAA spokesman said: “No one is in a position to issue Atol Certificates from next week. We have not given the nod to anyone. We are not expecting anyone to issue certificates. However, it may be that, having seen the criteria, some people want to be certified.”
The CAA has issued a series of style guides setting out how the Atol Certificate should look at www.atol.org.uk/reform
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