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£85m in unspent refund credit notes set to lose financial protection

Date posted: 26.04.2022

Holidaymakers with unspent refund credit notes risk losing their money if they do not redeem credit notes by 30 September 2022, when they lose ATOL protection.

In July 2020, the ATOL scheme announced that consumers who accepted refund credit notes for cancelled ATOL protected holidays would continue to be financially protected by the ATOL scheme. This protection applied to refund credit notes issued between 10 March 2020 and 19 December 2021.

If a travel company goes bust after 30 September 2022, travellers with refund credit notes will not be covered by the ATOL scheme and could lose out on money that they have already paid. Unspent ATOL protected refund credit notes currently total over £85m.

To avoid missing out on financial protection, consumers are advised to either:

  • Make a booking using their refund credit note – If it is a flight inclusive package holiday booking, the trip will be ATOL protected.
  • Request a refund – Consumers with refund credit notes can request a cash refund from their travel company at any point.

Michael Budge, Head of ATOL at the UK Civil Aviation Authority, said:

“Millions of holidaymakers have missed out on travel over the past two years, with many being offered refund credit notes during the pandemic. As demand for travel continues to grow again, we want to make sure consumers are making the most of the financial protection available to them.

“If you have a refund credit note, make an ATOL protected booking or request a refund well before 30 September 2022 to avoid putting your money at risk.”

Notes to editors

Unspent refund credit notes totalled £85m. Figure provided is based on latest ATOL holder submissions to the Civil Aviation Authority for the period to 31 March 2022.

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