ABTA keen to extend ATOL to independent travellers
by Gill Montia
The Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) is furthering the interests of travellers who book holiday flights and accommodation directly with operators.
Under current provisions, Britons who create their own holidays stand to lose money if an operator goes bust, while those who use a travel agent registered with the government-backed ATOL scheme are protected in such circumstances.
However, ABTA has announced that it is talks with the Government and the Civil Aviation Authority to give independent travellers the same kind of protection as those covered by ATOL.
Of the estimated 45 million trips taken by Britons each year, around 27 million are excluded from the benefits of the scheme, which is funded by a levy on package holidays, currently £2.50 per individual.
The cost increased by £1.50 only this month, follows huge claims made after last year’s failure of XL Leisure Group.
In related travel news, InsureFor has recently launched a new policy aimed at independent travellers.
Predicting uncertain times ahead in the travel industry, the firm has developed a stand alone policy that costs £4 for a single trip and provides up to £5,000 of cover against an airline or other carrier going bust.
According to InsureFor, the majority of travel insurance policies do not offer cover for financial collapse but travellers buying its new product can claim if their flight, ferry, coach or train is cancelled and no alternative method of transport is provided within 12 hours.