On Tuesday the 26th of April, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) issued a reminder to UK travellers that the £85 million currently still unclaimed in ATOL protected Refund Credit Notes will lose that financial protection later this year.
Near £50 million in Refund Credit Notes has already been spent or refunded by travellers since November 2021, but £85 million remains. With the cutoff date for ATOL protection on these Refund Credit Notes coming on the 30th of September 2022, consumers are being urged to spend or refund their Refund Credit Notes before September.
In July 2020, the CAA launched this scheme to provide ATOL protection for Refund Credit Notes (RCNs). Specifically, all RCNs issued for cancelled, ATOL protected holidays between the 10th of March 2020 and the 19th of December 2021 (you can find out more about ATOL protection for your holiday in our ATOL Consumer Guide). This was a bid to provide financial protection during the height of the pandemic.
The ATOL protection scheme created for these RCNs was set to end on the 30th of September 2022. This means that if the travel company that issued your RCN goes bust after the 30th of September, that RCN will no longer be protected and the money may be lost. These RCNs can still be claimed after the 30th of September, however, they will no longer be ATOL protected in the case that the company does go bust.
The £85 million still unclaimed only has 5 months remaining before this date. With so many travellers having missed out on travel over the course of the pandemic, the CAA are urging travellers to reclaim the monies from their Refund Credit Notes before September to ensure they can still get the holiday they deserve.
Travellers can do this in one of two ways:
- Book an ATOL protected holiday with your Refund Credit Note (RCN) – an ATOL protected holiday is any package holiday that includes flights (you can check if the company you’re booking with has an ATOL on the CAA website).
- Claim a refund of your RCN – you can claim a cash refund from your issued RCN at any time.
“Millions of holidaymakers have missed out on travel over the past two years, with many being offered refund credit notes during the pandemic,” said the Head of ATOL at the CAA, Michael Budge.
“As demand for travel continues to grow again, we want to make sure consumers are making the most of the financial protection available to them.
“If you have a refund credit note, make an Atol-protected booking or request a refund well before 30 September 2022 to avoid putting your money at risk.”
The world has reopened to travel since the height of the pandemic and more destinations are welcoming travellers back in with open arms. So don’t forget to refund or use your Refund Credit Notes to get yourself the excellent holiday you’ve been waiting for.
And, if you book your ATOL protected holiday with one of the lovely, trusted members of Protected Trust Services (PTS) you also receive the financial protection of the PTS travel trust account system and an efficient, stress-free experience so you can focus on the excitement of your next getaway.
So, if you’re looking forward to your next holiday, don’t wait, book now with a travel business registered with PTS for 100% financial protection through trust. Or, if you’d like assistance choosing one of the lovely PTS members to book with, you can contact PTS directly at 0207 190 9988.
And if you’d like to learn more about your financial protection with PTS or how the Package Travel Regulations protect your holiday booking, check out our pages and Travel Advice.