All about ATOL

Everytime you see a holiday advert, you’re encouraged to make sure the holiday is protected by ATOL.   But what is ATOL and how can it help?  The failure of Monarch last year highlighted the importance of having an ATOL protected holiday.

ATOL (Air Transport Organiser’s Licence) was first introduced in 1973, when UK holidaymakers were first travelling abroad in larger numbers.   After some changes over the years, it now covers all overseas air holidays where a flight and accommodation have been booked together.  If your holiday is protected and your travel company collapses, then you won’t lose money or become stranded as a result.  The scheme ensures you can finish your holiday if overseas and return home.  If you haven’t yet travelled, it ensures that you get a full refund.

When you book and pay for your holiday (whether a deposit, interim payment or balance payment), you’ll be given an ATOL Certificate.  Keep this safe as it’s proof of protection.  It costs £2.50 per traveller, which may be shown separately on your receipt or as part of the fuller package cost.

BTW there is a difference between ATOL and ABTA.  the latter is the Association of British Travel Agents.  Not all UK travel agents are members of ABTA, its not obligatory but you need to ensure that your travel agent has some financial protection in place.  Diamond Travel is not a member of ABTA, we’re members of The Global Travel Group.  Global Travel has its own Consumer Protection policy in place.

If you need any further information – check out The CAA’s website