Kemptown MP urges caution when booking overseas trips

Besi Besemar January 8, 2013


Simon Kirby MP for Kemptown and Peacehaven is urging his constituents to make sure they use an ATOL-protected agent when booking their trips in January

The ATOL scheme is there to protect people against the risk of their travel company going bust: ensuring they can continue their holiday and return home safely if the company collapses whilst they are away; or providing refunds if they’re yet to travel. And with over two million ATOL-protected air holidays expected to be sold in the UK during January – the scheme will give holidaymakers in Brighton Kemptown and across the country peace of mind that their hard earned holiday will not be lost.

During 2012, Parliament agreed two key changes to the scheme to widen protection and help people understand when they are protected. Holidays known by the industry as ‘Flight-Plus’ are now included in the scheme, as well as traditional package holidays. A ‘Flight-Plus’ booking is one that includes a flight plus accommodation and/or car hire, so long as these separate parts of the holiday are booked with the same company and within a day of each other.

The second change agreed by Parliament in 2012 saw the introduction of the ATOL certificate; offering consumers greater clarity on how their holiday is protected. Anyone who books an ATOL-protected trip will now receive an ATOL certificate from their travel company as soon as they make any payment. The certificate tells them what is protected, who is protecting it and what to do if something goes wrong.

Simon said:

“When travel companies run into financial difficulties it can cause severe disruption to families who are either looking forward to going away, or are in another country when a company collapses. With ATOL cover families have peace of mind that their plans need not be disrupted, and they are protected from a financial hit. 

“This is an important scheme, and I want residents in my constituency to be aware of these recent changes if they are looking to book a holiday in the coming months.”

Anyone wishing to book an ATOL-protected air holiday can check if a company provides protection by looking for the ATOL logo on their promotional material, or searching the company’s name:  HERE

More information about what’s covered by the scheme and how the ATOL certificate works is also available from this site.

Mr Kirby is also advising people booking trips not covered by the ATOL scheme such as those without flights or holidays booked directly with airlines, to seek alternative methods of protection such as insurance or paying with their credit card.