Holiday booking refund credit note protection extended
The aviation regulator has extended the protection available to holidaymakers who are issued with refund credit notes if their booking has been cancelled due to coronavirus.
The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has announced an extension to the ATOL protection offered for refund credit notes.
ATOL is a protection scheme afforded to holidaymakers booking package holidays (and some flights) which guards their money and provides help if a business fails.
The scheme is run by the CAA and in July, the regulator announced that holidaymakers who accept refund credit notes (instead of a cash refund) for bookings cancelled due to the coronavirus would be covered by ATOL.
Originally, this protection applied to refund credit notes issued between 10 March 2020 and 30 September 2020.
But the CAA has announced that the travel industry is able to issue ATOL protected refund credit notes until 31 December 2020.
Holidaymakers then have until 30 September 2021 to redeem the refund credit notes for a new booking or a refund.
Paul Smith, consumer director at the UK Civil Aviation Authority said: “In light of the continued impact of the coronavirus pandemic on travel, the decision to extend ATOL protection for refund credit notes will strengthen consumer confidence and allow for ATOL holders to continue to offer them in good faith to their customers.
“While consumers may choose to accept a refund credit note if one is offered, they are entitled to a cash refund and must be offered this at the same time.”