What is ATOL protection?


By Bob Atoo
October 21, 2014

ATOL stands for Air Travel Organisers License and is a means of offering buyer protection to individuals who book travel tours and holidays, including air transportation, through tour operators.

A tour operator is generally defined as a service provider who arranges travel, tours, itinerary, and transportation for your holiday package.

Financial protection for air travelers became available in the 1960’s by the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) organisation. The Federation of Tour Operators (FTO) introduced a bonding scheme a decade later requiring members to obtain bonds as a security for air travel reimbursements. The ABTA organisation followed suit two years later. Shortly thereafter, the Air Travel Trust was introduced as a means of paying any excess fees that are not covered by ATOL insurance bonds or CAA (Civil Aviation Authority) bonds.

What does ATOL cover?

As a protection scheme for consumers, ATOL protects the money customers pay to a travel company as well as ensuring the holidaymaker isn’t stranded abroad if their travel company fails while they are away.

How to make sure your holiday is ATOL-protected?

One way to make sure is to check before you book – look for the ATOL logo on the travel agents website and brochures. The logo should have a unique number on it which is the license number specific to that travel agent by the CAA.

Here’s how the logo should look:


Once you’ve found the travel agents unique license number, you can check on the CAA site to confirm the company is in fact registered. http://www.caa.co.uk/default.aspx?catid=1080&pageid=10210

Do you need to get an ATOL certificate?

As soon as you make a payment to your travel agent you should make sure you receive a valid ATOL certificate. The certificate will act as confirmation that your holiday is protected by the ATOL scheme.

What should I do with my ATOL certificate?

Once you have your ATOL certificate you should treat like an important document and keep it safe – ideally along with your other travel documents (passport, travel insurance, tickets etc…). That way, if something were to happen during your holiday you will be able to produce the certificate when you need it. It also means that, if for any reason you were unable to take your holiday, you can arrange a refund quickly.

Get a travel insurance quote today

If you’re planning a holiday and haven’t yet got a travel insurance policy, then let Bobatoo.co.uk do the hard work for you – get a travel insurance quote now from Bobatoo.

For more information regarding travel insurance, read all of our handy guides and resources below:

Travel insurance guides