The CAA has issued a warning over “mystery travel deals” which may not be financially protected.

Mystery travel deals involve consumers paying for a package holiday, where the destination, accommodation and sometimes the dates of the trip are revealed at a later date.

The CAA said without knowing which company created the package holiday, consumers may not be able to confirm if their holiday is Atol protected.

Travellers should check the below before booking:

  • Is the travel company an Atol holder? Visit its website or search for a company name or Atol number
  • Is the holiday Atol protected? Ask before booking if the holiday or flight is Atol protected.
  • Which travel company is providing the Atol protection? Consumers should ask who will be providing the protection for the package holiday before booking.
  • Where is the travel company based? The CAA said there are some non-UK travel companies which offer travel to UK consumers, but these will often not be Atol protected, even if they have offices in the UK or a UK web address.

Andy Cohen, head of Atol at the CAA, said: “Mystery travel deals are a new and exciting way to see parts of the world you may not have thought to visit.

“However, part of that mystery should not be whether you will be financially vulnerable. Without knowing which company created the package holiday, you may not be able to confirm if your holiday is ATOL protected before purchasing. The best way to avoid this is to ensure your travel company is ATOL protected and to take out travel insurance straight after booking to cover the rest.”

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