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How to check for ATOL protection


Our top tips when checking for ATOL protection

  • Look for the ATOL logo on the travel company’s website, shop window, or brochure. They must display this along with their unique four or five-digit ATOL number. Sometimes, this may include a T at the start.
  • Speak directly with the travel company you booked with – whether you are booking directly with a tour operator or a travel agent, they will be able to tell you if your trip is ATOL protected.
  • Search for the travel company on the ATOL database below. You can search using their name or ATOL number for the company to confirm that they hold a current ATOL licence. Even if they look like an ATOL holder, with a UK web address, it’s always better to check before paying.
  • Check the information on the booking. Travel companies must advertise if the trip is ATOL protected in the details of the booking.

The scheme also applies to some flight bookings – usually those where you book flights (including UK domestic flights) but do not receive your tickets immediately.

Please note that ATOL does not apply to flights booked directly with scheduled airlines or to flights booked with airline ticket agents.

ATOL Certificates

Travel companies must issue an ATOL Certificate as soon as you pay for an ATOL protected trip. This Certificate confirms the details of your protection.

It is important to keep a digital or paper copy of your ATOL Certificate with you while you’re on your trip. If your travel company ceases to trade as an ATOL holder, your Certificate tells you what you need to do to continue your trip or how to submit a claim.

Find out more about ATOL Certificates.

False ATOL protection claims

You are at risk of losing money when booking with companies that offer cheap flight seats or cheap air holidays on websites which claim to hold ATOLs, with many of these websites operating from outside the UK.

While we and other enforcement agencies are working to stop such websites, sadly it is not always possible to do so. Don’t be fooled by a website address ending with or a contact telephone number that has a UK dialling code; both of these can be operated from outside the UK.

We therefore urge you to be extra vigilant when being offered cheap travel and check that websites that claim to provide ATOL protection are operated either by a valid ATOL holder, or by agent properly acting on behalf of an ATOL holder

Some of the warning signs

  • The ATOL protected logo is shown without a number
  • When you check the ATOL number it does not appear in the database search results or the number refers to another travel company
  • The travel company says they are owned by another ATOL holder but their name is not listed on our database as a registered trading name on the ATOL holder’s record
  • Very cheap flight or holidays prices are quoted
  • The online enquiry or booking facility doesn’t work
  • No postal address is shown on the website
  • Although credit and/or debit card logos are shown on the website, there is no online payment facility and you are asked to pay by bank transfer
  • You’re asked to make a deposit payment only, but are then offered a better deal later if you pay in full
  • After an initial payment is made, you’re told the booking cost has increased
  • You receive a document or e-mail referring to a flight reservation, but this has not been sent by the airline/s

Websites to avoid

The following websites have falsely claimed to hold an ATOL or that their holidays are ATOL protected (list updated June 2019):