What is ATOL protection and why do you need it?
The last couple of weeks have been tough for many air travellers. First Ryanair announced that thousands of flights would be cancelled leaving 700,000 customers in limbo and then news broke that Monarch Airlines was denied renewal of their Air Travel Organisers’ Licence (ATOL) resulting in 300,000 more flight cancellations.
In this week’s blog we look at different levels of protection offered and what options you should look out for when booking your next holiday.
Is my holiday covered?
ATOL protection will ensure that you do not lose your money or you’re not left stranded abroad if your airline goes bust. It is a requirement that all air travel package holiday providers must have an ATOL.
The CAA (Civil Aviation Authority) have a vetting procedure that all firms must pass prior to issuing them with an ATOL; these checks reduce the risk of financial failure. If your tour operator was to fail, the CAA will ensure sure that you are refunded for any money already paid, or if you are abroad you will be able to finish your holiday the CAA will make arrangements to fly you home.
Look out for your ATOL certificate – Your travel agent will issue this when you book your holiday.
What if I’ve booked flights and accommodation separately?
Only package holidays are ATOL protected, so if you choose to book flights direct with an airline and accommodation separately you will not be covered.
Three ways to check if you’re going to be ATOL protected before booking are:
- The ATOL logo and licence number should also be visible on travel brochures and website.
- Ask your travel agent whether your holiday is ATOL protected.
- You can also check the company details online at the CAA website.
Credit and Debit cards
Credit and debit cards cover some purchases over £100 if the supplier is unable to fulfil your order.
However this protection will only apply to the cancelled service, you will not receive a refund for the service booked separately such as your hotel.
There is normally no cover under a standard travel insurance policy for failure of your airline or accommodation provider.
At Just Travel Cover we offer End Supplier Failure Insurance (ESFI), this policy add-on will cover you in the event that your airline or accommodation supplier goes bust. This add-on is automatically included on all of our “Gold” travel insurance policies, however if you have purchased a Silver or Bronze policy, ESFI can be added at any time before you travel and costs £2.50 per person.
If you can squeeze in a break this side of Christmas, don’t forget to arrange your travel insurance.
We have no upper age limit on our single trip insurance policies and we cover 98% of medical conditions; annual policies are also available for travellers up to the age of 75.
If you have booked your flight and hotel separately, remember to add ESFI cover to your policy for added protection.
Call our UK call centre (free) on 0800 294 2969 to discuss your requirements with one of our customer service team, we can recommend the correct policy to suit your needs.
Alternatively you can get a quote online and we are available online via web chat for any questions.
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Enjoy your next trip.
Medical Travel Insurance
We have worked hard to develop travel insurance with cover for pre-existing medical conditions and no age limit. Suitable for travellers over-65's.