According to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), at the end of June 2022, the value of unspent ATOL-protected refund credit notes (RCNs) came to a total of over £54 million, despite the previous warnings and recommendations that the CAA has issued.
In response to this rising concern, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has come forward with another warning to consumers who hold an ATOL RCN, reminding them that they either need to use the RCN to make a booking with the company that issued it, or they must request a monetary refund before the 30th of September, to avoid losing the value of the RCN.
These ATOL RCNs were issued at the beginning of the Covid pandemic to protect the bookings of consumers who could no longer travel due to the pandemic. This was a large flood of consumers, and the ATOL-protected RCNs allowed consumers the chance to claim back their money or rebook their holiday, a move that aided businesses as well as consumers financially.
In November of 2021, there were still unspent RCNs with a value of £132 million, causing the CAA to issue the initial reminder to consumers to spend them before their ATOL protection expired in September of 2022. This reduced to £82 million in value in April 2022.
Though this has reduced in value by over half since November, there is still a large abundance of RCNs left unspent, with only August and September left to spend them.
Following September 30th this year, in a travel company goes bust, the consumers who have outstanding RCNs with that company will no longer be covered by the ATOL scheme for that RCN. This means that if that company goes bust and the consumer tries to claim back the value of that RCN, they could risk losing that money with the ATOL protection.
The head of the ATOL at the CAA, Michael Budge, said, “Demand for travel is continuing to grow and we want to make sure travellers are making the most of the financial protection available to them.
“With more than £50 million of refund credit notes remaining unspent, this affects consumers booked with some of our biggest travel companies.
“If you have one of these refund credit notes, we advise making an ATOL-protected booking or requesting a refund before 30 September 2022 to avoid putting your money at risk.”
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.