Abta members seek reduction in financial exposure and costs

Abta members seek reduction in financial exposure and costs

Limiting exposure to the costs of other travel company failures is one of a list of key concerns raised by Abta members in discussions over the future of financial protection.

Avoiding duplicate costs and creating a level playing field are the other issues raised as part of the Department for Transport's call for evidence on the future of financial protection. The complexity of protection for consumers and industry due to the many separate statutory schemes is also a major worry.

These are operated by the Department for Transport (Atol) and the Department for Business (Package Travel) and duplicate reporting requirements and costs.

Members have also raised the issue of credit card companies taking additional security and the level of their charges.

Many want to see the DfT use its powers to bring airlines into the Atol scheme.

There is also strong support for variable APC pricing, for example linked to the strength of a business. Some members believed this would help limit their exposure to the costs of other travel company failures.

The department’s head of aviation policy implementation Kate Jennings urged members in an Abta webinar to share their financial protection costs.

"It's vital for us to understand the varying costs of protection,” she said.

“We need to be able to consider what the costs are and how much time travel companies are spending on administration; it will be really helpful to have that data so that any future proposals can be measured against it."

Abta is mid-way through gaining feedback ahead of submitting its response to the DfT and needs members to respond to a special questionnaire by July 30.

Workshops have been held in Bristol, Manchester and Guernsey and more than 80 participants joined the webinar to discuss the subject. Another workshop is taking place in Glasgow today (Thursday) and others in London and Belfast are planned.

Association chief executive Mark Tanzer said: "It's clear that many of our members feel strongly about the issues in the call for evidence and we've had some very useful feedback so far.

“This feedback is essential in helping us frame our response to the DfT and I'd encourage all members with views about the current or future working of consumer financial protection to let us have their feedback via the workshops or our online questionnaire."

Details of the remaining workshops can be found on http://abta.com/events-and-training.


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