The Board of Airline Representatives in the UK (BAR UK) has presented strong concerns to the Dft over the ATOL Reform Consultation which closes on 15 September.
In its detailed submission on behalf of 86 member airlines, BAR UK cites three main areas where the proposals are wholly inadequate in achieving the objectives of the reforms.
The following have been identified where;
1) ATOL funds could be collected twice but still no protection would apply
2) The ‘Right to Fly providers’ proposals would make it extremely difficult for consumers to know whether sales outlets and specific products are actually covered by ATOL or not. Airlines would also be made to carry the burden as the insurer of last resort, not the ATOL scheme
3) The ‘Flight Plus’ proposals would add more confusion, since the ATOL protection only applies if the consumer books both the flight and ground products within three days of each other from the same supplier. There is no protection where bookings are made over a longer period of time
Mike Carrivick, Chief Executive, BAR UK said “There is a lack of clarity over consumer protection that needs addressing; however the proposed reforms fail to meet the objectives set out in the consultation. They add confusion rather than take it away.”
“BAR UK proposes that ATOL protection continues to apply to fully-packaged travel and specifically excludes everything else. The consumer can then make their own decision on purchasing insurance when not covered by an ATOL protected package. In any event, many consumers are protected through the use of credit cards, so why pay for something twice?”
“We support others in the industry who are also aghast at these reforms and urge the DfT to postpone any changes to the current ATOL regime and completely review the proposals.”