//Government protects refund credit notes

Government protects refund credit notes

ABTA welcomes the move to back credit notes

The government has confirmed that Atol-protected holidaymakers will have their credit notes protected if a holiday is cancelled because of Covid-19.

The move, which is designed to increase consumer confidence, means that customers’ money is protected under Atol even if their holiday company goes bust.

Grant Shapps, the transport secretary, said: “We want to send a clear message to passengers that they can book their summer holidays with confidence, which is why we’re stepping in to protect refund credit notes issued as a result of Covid-19 cancellations.

“This is not only good news for anyone looking to get away for a break in the sun, but also for the aviation and travel sector which has been hit hard by the pandemic.”

Mark Tanzer, the chief executive of ABTA, said: “ABTA welcomes the government’s action to back refund credit notes through the Atol scheme. This gives reassurance to consumers and supports the travel industry at an especially difficult time.

“This development verifies that the Atol scheme provides protection for cancelled holidays when a refund remains outstanding in the event of a travel organiser’s failure. This is the same for non-flight based package travel with ABTA bonding under the Package Travel Regulations. This assurance enables consumers to hold and rely on refund credit notes with confidence, before rebooking a much needed holiday.”

Alok Sharma, the business secretary, added: “This new protection will give consumers the confidence they need to book some time in the sun, safe in the knowledge that their hard-earned money is protected no matter what.

“For those Atol-protected holidaymakers whose trips have already been cancelled, today’s reforms will give them the freedom to choose between a refund, or a fully-protected refund credit note for use at a later date.”

Sam Ballard is a director and co-founder of Waterfront Publishing, creator of ABTA Magazine, Cruise Adviser, Solus and more.