Travellers could lose £30m in unspent credit notes if not used soon

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Travellers could lose £30m in unspent credit notes issued in the pandemic if they’re not used by the end of the month, regulator warns

  • Customers with refund notes for cancelled holidays will lose ATOL protection
  • If a travel company collapses after 30 September you may lose your money 
  • Customers should book another trip or ask the travel company for a cash refund 
  • Scheme was put in place in 2020 to protect against losses from cancelled holidays during pandemic

Travellers with unspent credit notes risk losing refund money if they don’t redeem them by 30 September 2022 when they lose ATOL protection.

Consumers hold £30million of unspent refund credit notes that 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 encouraging them to spent their credit or request a cash refund. 

The regulator has also written to some of the UK’s biggest travel companies to remind 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 may lose their money if their travel company goes bust

During the pandemic, many people postponed their holiday plans and accepted a refund credit note from the travel company they booked with.

Customers who had bought flight inclusive packages were given refund credit notes including financial protection by Air Travel Organisers’ Licensing, but this will end next week.

It means if a travel company stops trading after 30 September 2022, consumers with outstanding ATOL refund credit notes will not be covered by the scheme and risk losing out on the money they originally paid.

In July 2020, the ATOL scheme announced that consumers who accepted refund credit notes for cancelled ATOL protected trips issued between 10 March 2020 and 19 December 2021 would continue to be protected under the scheme 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 of refund credit notes is 30 September, so we are again urging people to either use their refund credit note to book another ATOL protected trip or ask their travel company for a refund.

‘This will affect customers of some of our biggest travel firms, so our message is simple – this is the last chance to make sure you continue to be financially protected by the ATOL scheme.

‘Even if your refund credit note is valid after the end of September, it won’t enjoy ATOL protection. 

‘It is better to be safe than sorry, and we are urging people still holding one of these refund credit notes to take action now.’

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