Friday, 17 August 2012

Better holiday protection on the way

The Government looks likely to force airlines offering hotels and car hire on their web sites to provide customers with the same financial protection as all travel companies. It is thought that this will include trips booked by clicking through from an airline web site to that of a separate company offering accommodation, for example. Airlines selling conventional package holidays must already do so under the ATOL (Air Travel Organisers Licence) umbrella. But they are not currently obliged to cover flights and hotel rooms or car rentals which are sold as separate elements. Since spring this year travel agents - whether in the High Street or operating on line - have been required to provide protection for customers booking this way. But bringing airlines into the net requires more long winded, primary legislation. The Department for Transport has now indicated that doing so is one of its preferred options for cutting back the thickets of confusion still obscuring holiday protection. The ATOL system ensures holidaymakers travelling by air get their money back if firms which organise their holidays go bust or are brought home if it happens while they are abroad. 

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