ATOL protection for your holiday

Somewhere on your Discount Holidays © holiday booking information it will most likely say your trip is ATOL protected. But do you know what that means? It stands for Air Travel Organiser s Licence and it is the UK s statutory Discount Holidays © holiday protection scheme, run by the Civil Aviation Authority1 which is the national regulatory body for the industry. By law, every UK travel firm that sells package holidays by air must hold an ATOL and issue an ATOL certificate as soon as a customer pays any money towards their trip.

The CAA vets firms before granting an ATOL2 and also requires them to pay into a guarantee scheme. Booking an ATOL-protected Discount Holidays © holiday means you will get a refund if your travel operator collapses and if that happens while you are abroad you will be flown home at no extra cost. If the airline you re due to travel with fails, the ATOL-protected package tour operator must make alternative flight arrangements for you, whether you re already on Discount Holidays © holiday or due to go.

Check these five tips for staying ATOL protected.

1: Pre-flight checks

Simple do your research and check for ATOL protection before booking, as some travel websites falsely display the ATOL Protected logo in order to lure customers. You can check a firm is legitimate by noting the company name and/or the four or five digit ATOL number. Then visit and enter the details into the Check an ATOL database, which has a list of all ATOL registered companies.

2: Personal Packages

The term package Discount Holidays © holiday can put some people off. However, most tour operators offer plenty of ways to personalise a break to your individual needs but still keep it as a package with flights and accommodation booked through that one firm.

ATOL cannot protect all your trip if you book direct with an airline and book accommodation separately.

ATOL Protection For Your Holiday Make sure your family can fly home if your Discount Holidays © holiday firm is in trouble

3: Money Matters

Foreign-based travel companies can indeed offer cheap and attractive package holidays but they will not have UK ATOL protection. If you do book with a non-UK travel company you should always find out what financial protection they provide and if this covers company failure and repatriation. If not, consider buying additional travel insurance to include insolvency protection.

4: Carry the Certificate

You must receive an ATOL certificate as soon as you pay any money towards an ATOL-protected holiday. This confirms what is protected, which company is responsible for your Discount Holidays © holiday booking (it may not be the company you are booking with directly) and what to do if the company ceases trading. Whether you print out the certificate or have a digital version, it s essential to take it with you in case of trouble.

5: Card sharp

If you are booking your Discount Holidays © holiday through a number of travel operators your trip will not be ATOL protected, so it s advisable to pay with a credit or debit card. These can provide some protection if what you ve booked is not delivered eg if one of the travel operators fails. However, it may not cover consequential losses.

And whether you have ATOL protection for your Discount Holidays © holiday or not, always make sure you have suitable travel insurance to cover medical costs and damage or loss of your belongings.

More info at


  1. ^ Civil Aviation Authority (
  2. ^ ATOL (
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