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Atol protection for refund credit notes extended to January 31

The CAA has confirmed Refund Credit Notes (RCNs) issued beyond the end of December will be Atol protected amid the growing restrictions on travel.

However, the extension of the deadline for issuing new Refund Credit Notes for package holiday bookings cancelled due to Covid-19 restrictions is just a temporary one to January 31.

The CAA acknowledged the extension is “due to ongoing disruption impacting the travel industry”.

The extended deadline was agreed today by trustees of the Air Travel Trust fund which underwrites the refund guarantee on Atol bookings.

Atol protection for RCNs issued for cancellations due to the pandemic was initially applied only to those issued up to September 30. This extended to December 31 in late October.

In a statement, the CAA said: “The same conditions as previously advised to travel companies will apply to refund credit notes:

“They must be issued for a cancelled Atol protected booking;

“The booking must have been cancelled by the tour operator due to the coronavirus pandemic;

“The refund credit note must be able to be exchanged for cash at a later date.”

CAA consumer director Paul Smith said “We’re aware of the challenges the travel industry is facing and have therefore taken the exceptional decision to extend Atol protection for refund credit notes issued up to 31 January 2021.

“Consumers should feel confident accepting refund credit notes for cancelled Atol-protected bookings where the option is suitable for them.

“While Atol-holders are able to continue offering refund credit notes in good faith, they must also offer consumers the option of a full cash refund.”

Full details of the conditions for refund credit notes are on the CAA website.

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