Financial protection ‘mystifies’ the public

UK consumers rate financial protection of holidays extremely important but don’t understand it, research for Travel Weekly shows.

Explore Research questioned more than 500 UK adults at the weekend and found 96% considered protecting their money ‘extremely important’ or ‘very important’ when booking an overseas holiday.

Just over half (52%) said they considered whether they were protected against a travel company failure when they last booked a holiday. Two out of five did not.

When researchers asked consumers how a booking was protected, 70% said by travel insurance, 64% said by credit card, 56% said Abta and only 42% said Atol – suggesting the Civil Aviation Authority has a big job ahead to publicise the scheme when it extends to Flight-Plus sales from April 30.

Basic travel insurance covers loss of luggage or the cost of medical treatment abroad and more rarely extends to supplier failure. Paying by credit card offers protection on purchases above £100.

A CAA spokesman said: “This highlights the purpose of Atol reform. Atol has not protected the type of booking many people would have expected so recognition has reduced. We hope the changes from April and the Atol Certificate from October will address that.

“We will be doing our best to raise awareness with the travelling public that all the changes are in place and hope to work closely with the trade on that.”

Explore found better-off consumers were more aware of protection, while those least able to afford to lose money – the less well-off and the young – were most likely to ignore it.

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