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Consumers set to lose financial protection on over £54 million of ATOL refund credit notes

Date posted: 26.07.2022

Unspent ATOL refund credit notes total over £54 million, new figures from the UK Civil Aviation Authority show, with the regulator reminding consumers to make a booking or request a refund to avoid losing money.

If a travel company goes bust after 30 September 2022, consumers with outstanding refund credit notes will not be covered by the ATOL scheme and risk losing out on money they have already paid.

The UK Civil Aviation Authority reminds those still holding onto these refund credit notes that to avoid missing out on financial protection, either:

  • Make a booking using their refund credit note – If this booking is a flight inclusive package, the trip will be ATOL protected.
  • Request a refund– Consumers remain entitled to request a cash refund from their travel company.

In July 2020, the ATOL scheme announced that consumers who accepted refund credit notes for cancelled ATOL protected trips, would continue to be financially protected under the ATOL scheme.

This protection applied to refund credit notes issued between 10 March 2020 and 19 December 2021.

In November 2021, £132 million of refund credit notes remained unspent. This reduced further to £85 million in April 2022.

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

“Demand for travel is continuing to grow and we want to make sure travellers are making the most of the financial protection available to them.

“With more than £50 million of refund credit notes remaining unspent, this affects consumers booked with some of our biggest travel companies.

“If you have one of these refund credit notes, we advise making an ATOL protected booking or requesting a refund before 30 September 2022 to avoid putting your money at risk.”

Notes to editors

Unspent refund credit notes totalled £54m. Figure provided is based on latest ATOL holder submissions to the UK Civil Aviation Authority for the period to 30 June 2022.

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