Wednesday, 10 June 2009

ATOL protection - airlines must be included

If, as its chief executive Willie Walsh says, British Airways is in "a fight for survival", what possible objection can the airline have to the extension of the air travel financial protection to cover passengers who simply buy scheduled tickets?

Consumers buying package holidays are already protected by the ATOL (air travel organisers' licence) scheme, which ensures they get their money back - or get home without facing additional expense - when companies go bust. BA itself now offers ATOL protection to customers who take up its offer of scheduled flights plus other elements such as hotels, car hire or theatre tickets.

Why not go the full distance and fall in line with those of us who believe the system should be extended to protect all travellers?


Sebby said...

Personally I just make sure my Travel Insurance policy has Scheduled Airline Failure - Job done.

Having to spend another £5 on my flights which sometimes cost less than this seems a complete waste of money.

Roger Bray said...

Sebby - SAFI (scheduled airline failure insurance)can indeed provide protection. But it is not an ideal solution. When insurers get a whiff that an airline might go under, the offer of cover is often withdrawn. This invariably happens when US airlines file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. I also happened in the case of one UK carrier earlier this year.