Travelers could lose £30million in unspent credit notes issued during the pandemic if not used by the end of the month, regulator warns
- Customers with refund notes for canceled holidays will lose ATOL protection
- If a travel agency goes bankrupt after September 30, you risk losing your money
- Customers must book another trip or ask the travel agency for a cash refund
- A program was put in place in 2020 to protect against losses related to canceled vacations during the pandemic
Travelers with unspent credit notes risk losing refund money if they don’t redeem them by September 30, 2022, when they lose ATOL protection.
Consumers are holding £30million in unspent refund credit notes which lose consumer protection at the end of the month, putting unclaimed credit at risk.
The Civil Aviation Authority has written a final reminder to customers about the risk and encourages them to spend their credit or request a cash refund.
The regulator has also written to some of the UK’s biggest travel companies reminding them of their obligations to customers still holding unspent refund credit notes.
Customers who do not use their travel credit refund notes by the end of September will lose their ATOL protection and risk losing their money if their travel agency goes bankrupt.
During the pandemic, many people postponed their vacation plans and accepted a refund credit note from the travel company they booked through.
Customers who had purchased flight-included packages have been issued refund credit notes, including financial protection by air travel operator licenses, but this will end next week.
This means that if a travel agency goes out of business after September 30, 2022, consumers with outstanding ATOL refund credits will not be covered by the program and risk losing the money they originally paid. .
In July 2020, the ATOL program announced that consumers who accepted refund credit notes for canceled ATOL protected trips issued between March 10, 2020 and December 19, 2021 would continue to be protected under the program until the end of September this year.
Michael Budge, head of ATOL at the UK Civil Aviation Authority, said: ‘The deadline for the end of ATOL protection for refund credit notes is 30 September so we are again urging people to use their refund credit note to book another protected ATOL trip or ask their travel agent to refund you.
“This will affect customers of some of our larger travel agencies, so our message is simple – this is the last chance to ensure you continue to be financially protected by the ATOL scheme.
“Even if your refund credit is valid after the end of September, it will not benefit from ATOL protection.
“Prevention is better than cure, and we urge people who still hold one of these refund credit scores to act now.”