Atol association urges 'disaffected' agents to join it

Atol association urges 'disaffected' agents to join it

The Association of Atol Companies (AAC) has urged "disaffected" Atol-holding members of other associations to join it, in a veiled dig at Abta.

The AAC issued an open invitiation for new members on Friday, offering special terms to existing and new Atol holders under the recently introduced Flight-Plus regulations for agents and online travel agents (OTAs).

AAC legal advisor Alan Bowen said: "We are a aware that a number of associations have renewal dates in July and recognise it may be difficult for one association to be all things to all people.

"We have a single purpose, to represent, advise and protect the interests of Atol holders. We focus on the needs and concerns of those companies holding Atol licences."

The AAC does not spell out that it is seeking to woo Abta members, but the inference is clear. It is offering recruits who apply before the end of June a membership rate of £199 .

AAC acting head Claire Trevis said: "We are focused on one sector only. We do not seek to regulate. We only protect Atol holders.

"We do not provide financial protection nor do we seek to advise those that are pure retailers. We put all our eggs in one basket."

Bowen said: "It is clear for travel agents who may have been dynamically packaging for years that the Flight-Plus regime will require a major review of how they do business."

"The changes are not simple and our experience in advising Atol holders is second to none."

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