ABTA – the Travel Association, today submitted its formal response to the Civil Aviation Authority’s (CAA’s) consultation on the practical implementation of the Department for Transport’s reforms to the ATOL scheme of financial protection. A six week consultation on the “Standard Terms” was set out by the CAA in February 2012.
The response repeats ABTA’s call for the Government to bring airline holiday sales within the scope of ATOL at the earliest possible opportunity, and to sticking to its commitment to consult on this issue during 2013. It further covers a range of outstanding concerns regarding the practicalities of the reform including:
• a call to review the definitions of exemptions for Airline Ticket Agents - including for sales of flight only tickets that are paid in full and directly to the airline at the time of booking (e.g. “no frills” airlines);
• a call to delay the implementation of Agency Agreements until 1 October 2012 (in line with ATOL certificates) due to the considerable amount of work required by agents and operators to introduce and/or update these agreements;
• a call to clarify the obligations of Flight Plus arrangers in the event of supplier failure, to ensure they are reasonable.
ABTA Members may read the response in full at www.abta.com/atolreform.
Mark Tanzer, ABTA Chief Executive said: “There are a number of important outstanding issues that still need to be addressed relating to the DfT’s ATOL reform package. As the consultation phase on these practical elements is only now closing, it is essential that these are addressed swiftly and that common sense is applied to practical aspects of the reforms, including, for example, the timetable for having Agency Agreements in place.”