Abta has warned of continuing concern among agents ahead of the launch of Atol Certificates in a fortnight.
Agents will be legally required to issue Atol Certificates to customers when accepting payments for bookings. The certificates must specify what is protected for all transactions involving a package holiday, Flight-Plus booking or flight only.
Writing in today’s Travel Weekly business:am daily bulletin, Abta head of legal services Simon Bunce says: “Abta members have some real concerns about the introduction of Atol Certificates.
“Many retailers have told us they are having difficulty getting clarification from Atol holders as to the process for issuing the certificate. Many are also concerned they still do not have written agency agreements in place with Atol holder partners.”
Bunce points out agency agreements are essential for agents to continue selling the product of Atol-holders.
Abta has written to Atol-holding members urging then to contact agents to explain the process they will use for issuing certificates.
The association has also sought clarification from the Civil Aviation Authority on the issue of certificates, pointing out there could be occasions when an Atol holder is slow to issue a certificate and an agent would need to do so.
The Travel Network Group of agencies agrees there is a problem. Its managing director Gary Lewis said: “We have asked each business partner, through our in-house system, whether they will provide an Atol Certificate through their own booking system or whether the members have to issue the certificate themselves.
“Very few business partners are in a position for an agent to issue an Atol Certificate through their booking system. Members should issue the correct certificate only where an agency agreement is in place.”
Bunce has produced a checklist for Abta members.
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