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Refund Credit Notes

Date posted: 18.07.2020

Update: If your holiday is cancelled after 19 December 2021 as a result of Covid-19 pandemic you are entitled to a cash refund from the holiday company. The holiday company may also offer to change your booking to a different date. If the holiday company offers you a voucher or refund credit note, please be aware that this will not be ATOL protected and therefore, if the holiday company becomes insolvent, you will not be able to make a claim to the ATOL scheme.

Refund credit notes will benefit from ATOL protection up until 30 September 2021 if they have been issued between 10 March 2020 and 31 March 2021 for an ATOL protected booking that has been cancelled due to Covid-19.

While offering consumers a refund credit note is acceptable, travel companies must offer a cash refund at the same time. If the consumer chooses a refund credit note, they should have the option to convert it to a cash refund at any point and must do so before 30 September 2021.

Consumers should keep all the original documentation for their ATOL protected booking, including the original ATOL certificate, proof of payment and the booking documents.

There are other conditions which a refund credit note must meet in order to benefit from ATOL protection. If consumers are concerned that a refund credit note they have received does not meet the criteria to be ATOL protected, they should contact their travel company.

Refund Credit Notes should:

  • be issued by the protecting ATOL holder named on the ATOL certificate
  • not exceed the value of payments made towards the ATOL protected booking
  • be directly linked to an ATOL protected booking, either shown on the refund credit note directly or in supporting documents
  • make clear the total value that will benefit from ATOL protection, excluding payments made separate to the ATOL protected booking or any other incentives offered by the travel company
  • make clear it is not transferrable to another individual
  • be clear that it can be exchanged with the travel company for cash at any time and no later than 30 September 2021, if not redeemed against a booking


  • ATOL protection will not apply to refund credit notes issued to consumers for any value that was originally paid to the ATOL holder by a method of payment not covered by the Air Travel Trust’s Payment Policy e.g. the original ATOL protected booking was paid for by a voucher that was issued as compensation or as a prize in a raffle.
  • ATOL protection will not apply to any vouchers issued separate to the ATOL protected booking e.g. incentive vouchers offered along with a refund credit note, EU261 compensation, or any extras booked separately to the ATOL protected booking.
  • After 30 September 2021, ATOL protection will not apply to refund credit notes, unless they have been redeemed against an ATOL protected booking.
  • ATOL protection currently will not apply to refund credit notes issued before 10 March 2020 or after 31 March 2021.
  • ATOL protection will not apply to bookings purchased using a refund credit note, where the booking would not ordinarily benefit from ATOL protection e.g. a refund credit note is used to make an accommodation-only booking

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