Thousands get ATOL travel help
30 June 2016 08:59
ATOL helps repatriate British holidaymakers should their travel company go bust
Thousands of British holidaymakers abroad have been protected by a package getaway and flights guarantee scheme over 2015/2016, new statistics show.
The Air Travel Organisers' Licensing (ATOL) scheme safeguards tourists should the ATOL-registered company they are holidaying with stop trading.
The Air Travel Trust (ATT), which oversees the initiative, says its latest numbers show just how much confidence UK travellers have in the industry.
The ATT reports that in 2015/16 ATOL:
• Gave total refunds to 4,391 holidaymakers whose trip was cancelled due to the collapse of their travel firm
• Funded flights home for 339 passengers who were left stranded overseas when their travel company went under
• Spent £4.8 million protecting these 4,730 customers
• Protected 25.2 million holiday-goers compared to the 23.8 million across 2014/15 - a jump of 5.8%
• Made a £139 million surplus - a 47.8% rise on the £94 million figure reported in 2014/15 and the fourth successive surplus
Safety first always pays
Taking out trusted travel insurance is just as prudent as finding ATOL-protected companies.
Such protection covers travellers should their flights be delayed or cancelled.
It will also reimburse them if their luggage or travel documents go missing or they have their possessions stolen.
Travel firm failures are down
The number of ATOL-member travel companies which stopped trading in 2015/16 is down to a 13-year low of just 10.
This is a 33% decrease on the 2014/15 figure of 15. Notable casualties during the past financial year include Exclusive Escapes.
What the expert says
Michael Medlicott, ATT chair, says that its number of travel firm failures holds up well compared to other years, despite the geopolitical turbulence abroad.
He says that the trust will go on supporting the Civil Aviation Authority's Pack Peace of Mind initiative. This helps to publicise the advantages of choosing an ATOL-protected company.
The campaign also helps equip customers with the tools they need to make better-informed choices before travelling abroad.