Co-operative Travel has called for more protection for those holidaymakers who book their flights independently rather than as part of a package deal. Mike Greenacre, managing director at the organisation, noted that increasing protection to cover all forms of travel arrangements would mean that the collapse of an airline would not result in people being stranded abroad.
The call follows news this week that time is running out for customers seeking compensation from the collapse of XL. Events like the collapse of XL or the recent SkyEurope bankruptcy have left many holidaymakers question exactly what protection they have if something like this affects their own trip.
While XL was a package operator Greenacre has said he is concerned by research conducted by his company which indicates that 45 per cent of customers falsely believe that they would be insured against an airline closing down if they booked the flight directly.
“I would reiterate to all consumers that they should book with businesses and brands that can clearly demonstrate that they have the necessary protection in place,” he added.
Mr Greenacre made his comments in response to the news that Travel Counsellors has suggested that customers should receive full protection against travel companies going bust, not just if they booked through a tour operator.
For those customers who were affected by the collapse of XL last year then time is rapidly running out and applications must be made before this Friday.
It was September last year when the UK’s third biggest package holiday group XL Leisure collapsed. Hundreds of thousands of holidaymakers were stranded overseas, while many others were left without the holiday they’d been looking forward to.
Fortunately, the Air Travel Organisers’ Licensing (ATOL) scheme, overseen by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), stepped in to compensate those people whose flights were part of their package holiday. The CAA reports that £37.5million has already been paid out but warns that some customers have failed to submit their applications.