Eventia to lobby Civil Aviation Authority over ATOL reform

Meeting and events industry association Eventia  is to lobby the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) over its implementation of the Air Travel Organisers Licensing (ATOL) reform.
ATOL is a financial protection scheme managed by CAA. In the event of an ATOL holder’s failure, the ATOL Scheme ensures customers who paid and contracted with the ATOL holder for an air holiday package or flight, do not lose the money paid over or are not stranded abroad.
Chairman of the Eventia Regulation Committee, Brian Kirsch, said: “It’s unfair and anomalous that B2B transactions with major corporate clients need to be protected by ATOL.
“We still question why ATOL to ATOL sales exist. We question why a company selling seats to an ATOL holder is required to hold an ATOL themselves. Surely the company to whom the sale is made, being an ATOL holder, is the entity which ultimately provides protection to the consumer?”
The Government decided to allow for more time for the industry to prepare for ATOL reform by deferring implementation to April 2012 following a consultation.
In Eventia’s submission to the consultation by the Department of Transport, the association expressed the view that B2B transactions should be exempt from all ATOL requirements.
“Acknowledging paragraph 4.5 of the reform, if this is to be imposed on the B2B sector, we would now seek an agreement with the CAA on a practical implementation,” Kirsch concedes.
“It is often not possible within a business environment to include passenger names and other basic information at the point of first raising an invoice or even a second invoice. Frequently, not only are the passenger names not known, but also routing, exact numbers flying or flight information may not be known at that point. Such information can be supplied via the prime client contact, via a website, or when an e-ticket is issued. This information will ultimately be communicated, but not necessarily at time of issue of invoices/ATOL Certificate nor directly to the traveller.
“It is important to remember that in B2B, the passenger very rarely pays for their own ticket, so protection is to the corporate client via their named representative. We need to agree with the UK Civil Aviation Authority that for B2B bookings, the detailed information required on the ATOL certificate need only be completed prior to departure and communicated to the principal client contact, not necessarily to every traveller listed.”
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Paul Colston


Paul Colston

Managing Editor, Conference News & Conference & Meetings World.

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