Call to review new Atol holiday scheme
A Commons committee has criticised policymakers for not taking into account customer evidence when making changes to the Air Travel Organisers’ Licensing (Atol) system.
The reforms to the scheme, which provides cover for travellers from tour companies that go bust, has been launched by the Government and have come into force as of April 30.
It means that holidaymakers who book flights from tour operators that go from UK hubs such as Heathrow or Stansted airport will receive a policy certificate confirming the cover they have been given. Flight Plus bookings are now also covered in the policy.
But a report by MPs in the House of Commons Transport Committee said the amendments “are not widely supported”.
It added: “The Government has not clearly based its reforms to the Atol scheme on evidence from consumers.”
MPs have deemed it “unfair” that holidaymakers who purchase a budget package have to pay the same charge of £2.50 for Atol cover as those who buy luxury holidays.
They advised that the charge should be on a sliding scale according to how much the package is worth.
In addition, the report found that the protection provides cover to less than half of holidays bought with tour companies, and this figure is in fast decline, according to the MPs. It has previously given cover to the majority of holiday packages.
The committee said the Atol system is “in a mess” and requires more changes.
Copyright Press Association 2012