Constituents urged to pack peace of mind when booking overseas trips this January

Anne is urging people to pack peace of mind when purchasing their holidays this year, by making sure they book an ATOL-protected trip.

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 Aberdeen South 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.

Dame Anne said: “At this time of year many people will be planning their summer holidays. It is always sad to hear about people missing out on the holiday of a lifetime through no fault of their own. However, if your booking is ATOL-protected, the protection on your holiday should now be clearer and you don’t need to worry about losing out.”

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 at http://www.packpeaceofmind.co.uk. More information about what’s covered by the scheme and how the ATOL certificate works is also available from this site.

Dame Anne 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.

www.packpeaceofmind.co.uk includes FAQs, information on how to check if a company is ATOL protected and an explanation of the ATOL Certificate.

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