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UK Civil Aviation Authority urges caution on Black Friday holiday deals

Date posted: 22.11.2022

New research from the UK Civil Aviation Authority shows that almost half of UK adults (46 per cent) will be actively looking out for a Black Friday deal on a holiday or trip.

This figure increases to almost two-thirds (63 per cent) for the 18-34 age group. 

With around three-quarters of us (73 per cent) now booking package holidays through websites or online apps, travellers are being urged by the aviation regulator to check holiday deals carefully this Black Friday, and to be wary of scams to make sure there are no nasty surprises.

With the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales period growing in popularity in the UK, two thirds (66 per cent) of 18-24s and 70 per cent of 25-34s say they are likely to book an overseas or package holiday if they saw a Black Friday deal they liked.

The research also shows:

  • Around three-quarters of UK consumers reported they plan to fly the same amount or more in the next 12 months, with only 18 per cent saying they plan to fly less.
  • Even in the current economic climate, half of UK adults (50 per cent) say even if the price of flights increased by 10 per cent in 2023 compared to 2022, this would not change how much they plan to fly next year.

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

“Even with the sharp rise in the cost of living, it seems there is a real appetite to travel overseas next year. Travel companies are increasingly advertising discounts on getaways to UK consumers during the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales period. 

“Deals can seem attractive, but before booking, we would urge everyone to just do a bit of research to make sure it really is a bargain. Always check it has ATOL financial protection, watch out for hidden extras, book by credit card if you can and consider travel insurance are all top tips for anyone looking to book a holiday.”

The aviation regulator is urging consumers to do their research before booking to make sure there are no nasty surprises with top travel tips for Black Friday sales including:

Watch out for hidden costs

Before booking a holiday it’s important to check there are no hidden costs hiding in the terms and conditions or their bargain price will soon start to rise. Before booking their holiday make sure to check:

  • Does it include baggage allowance? How much is additional luggage?
  • Shop around with other providers to check it is a good deal and remember, holiday bargains can usually be found through the festive period and into the New Year.
  • Is there any flexibility in the booking? Can parts of the holiday be amended in the future without incurring any extra costs?
  • Look for where the seller is based – If it’s abroad and the deal is in a foreign currency, make sure to check how much they are charging in pounds before booking to ensure they get a good rate, and double check their bank’s fees for paying in foreign currency.

Check for ATOL financial protection

Travel companies selling air package holidays in the UK are required to hold an ATOL (which stands for Air Travel Organiser’s Licence) and the scheme also applies to some flight bookings.

If an ATOL licensed travel company stops trading, the scheme protects their package holiday customers, making sure they don’t get stuck abroad or lose money if they are yet to travel.

Some non-UK travel companies will be advertising their deals over the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales period to UK consumers, these companies should be ATOL licensed.

Before booking, they should always check that your travel provider is a legitimate ATOL holder and check that the holiday is ATOL protected. They can check this on the UK Civil Aviation Authority website.

When they book, the travel company will provide them with an ATOL Certificate, which tells them what they are protected against if the travel company stops trading, and shows exactly which parts of their booking are ATOL protected.

Use a credit card when booking

Using a credit card should allow them to benefit from enhanced purchase protection under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act.

This means if they pay for your flight or hotel with a credit card and something doesn’t go to plan, in many cases your credit card issuer should provide them with your money back (for purchases between £100-£30,000).

Get travel insurance

Travel insurance can provide extra protection if the holiday doesn’t work out quite as they intended.

It can protect them from a range of mishaps relating to the trip from cancellations, missed transport and medical emergencies through to items lost or stolen when travelling.

Travel insurance is widely available online and the type of cover they need will vary so always carefully check the insurance terms and conditions for full details of cover.

Notes to Editors

Savanta conducted an online survey of 2,226 UK adults between the 11th and 13th of November 2022. Data was weighted to be nationally representative of all UK adults by age, gender, region and social grade.

In this survey, around three-quarters of UK consumers reported they plan to fly the same amount (52 per cent) or more (23 per cent) in the next 12 months.

‘Around three-quarters (73 per cent) of package holidays are now purchased through websites or online apps’ – statistic taken from ATOL research conducted by 2CV in March and April 2022.


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