Even though we can't afford holidays, MPs think we need more protection
The MPs have managed to write a report all by themselves, which is very very very clever of them. Someone should give them a gold star. They've decided that there needs to be changes to the system that protects holidaymakers from tour company collapses, despite the fact most people are too broke to afford a holiday in the first place.
Parliament is great isn't it? Always got the finger firmly on the pulse!
Anyway, the Atol (Air Travel Organisers' Licensing) scheme was introduced in the early '70s but it is now "in a mess" and requires fundamental reform, the Commons transport committee said. Changes will be taking place today which will see a bespoke certificate issued to each customer to clarify the protection provided. This cover will also cover "Flight Plus" bookings, whatever that means.
"The Government has not clearly based its reforms to the Atol scheme on evidence from consumers," said the committee. The collective governmental swine also pointed out that it is all dreadfully unfair that those booking a short, low-cost package holiday paid the same protection contribution (currently £2.50 a passenger) as those on extensive luxury holidays.
The committee's chairwoman Louise Ellman said: "We welcome the changes to Atol that are being introduced. Flight Plus will extend financial protection to millions of people who put together their own travel packages with travel agents, mainly over the internet. New Atol certificates to be issued with holiday bookings should provide greater clarity for holidaymakers."
Aviation Minister Theresa Villiers added: "These improvements will mean that up to six million extra holidays will be protected each year, providing much needed clarity and reassurance for millions of people. These reforms will equip Atol to deal with the realities of the modern holiday market, enabling the scheme to protect holiday makers more effectively for many more years to come. This is an important step forward for consumer protection. We will consider the report and its recommendations carefully and will respond in due course."