ATOL protection is as essential as your swimming trunks but many travellers don’t know much about it. Here we explain what it is and how it protects you if your holiday provider runs into financial difficulties…
Holiday firm All Leisure Holidays has hit stormy waters recently as they announced that their Swan Hellenic and Voyages of Discovery cruise programmes have stopped trading, leaving hundreds of customers stranded overseas.
Fortunately, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has confirmed that under the terms of the ATOL protection scheme, all 400 holidaymakers currently abroad would be repatriated at no extra cost, reports The Guardian.
The 13,000 All Leisure Holidays customers who were using the travel firm for their next trip will also be fully refunded.
The news comes as a not-so-welcome reminder of the importance of ATOL protection. But what exactly is it?
ATOL protects you and your money should the company you book a holiday with collapse during or prior to your trip. As a government backed scheme, it ensures that you are fully refunded and repatriated to the UK when necessary.
According to the CAA, the scheme protects those who book through a single travel firm or package holiday and encompasses flights, car hire, accommodation and cruises. The ATOL certificate is simply a tangible indication that your holiday is protected. If you receive one, you should keep it safe and bring it with you on the trip.
If you are unsure if your chosen travel company is included, check for a licence number (this code usually begins with a ‘T’ followed by 4-5 digits) or contact them directly.
Find out exactly what ATOL protection means for you in our handy blog, but remember that ATOL protection is no substitute for proper travel insurance, especially if you have a specific medical condition. Why not get your travel insurance quote today?