EasyJet has confirmed that agents making flight-only bookings through GDS or API electronic connections qualify as Airline Ticket Agents under the new Atol regulations and do not require Atol cover under the reformed rules.
The budget carrier also confirmed agents booking flight-only via easyJet.com – as do many holiday retailers – can only avoid the need for Atol cover by using the customer’s credit card for the transaction.
The carrier said it would not issue letters of authorisation to agents, describing these as “a waste of everybody’s time”.
EasyJet UK director Paul Simmons told Travel Weekly: “We can confirm, for the avoidance of doubt, that any GDS or API partner may issue confirmed tickets for travel on easyJet.”
The new Atol Regulations, which extended the consumer-protection licensing scheme to Flight-Plus sales (a flight plus another significant component like a hotel room or car hire) by high street and online travel agents, came into force at the end of April.
The regulations apply to flight-only sales by agents unless they have the authority of an airline to sell its flights.
Simmons said: “We have had discussions with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and don’t believe it is necessary [for agents] to get the authority of the airline directly.
“Everything is hunky dory for Iata agents with distribution through GDSs. You don’t need a letter of authorisation. That would be a waste of time for everybody.”
EasyJet flights are available “on a licensed basis” through GDSs Amadeus, Sabre and Travelport’s Galileo and via APIs through Comtec, Multicom, Partners Solutions, ElsyArres, Travelfusion, Traveltek and Ypsilon.
According to the carrier: “Any agent buying via one of the licensed sources qualifies as an airline ticket agent. They will not require an Atol where selling easyJet flights on a flight-only basis.
“The confirmation will take the form of an email with a flight booking reference number. EasyJet will not issue letters of authorisation.
“Agents booking an easyJet flight via easyJet.com are covered under the regulations on condition the client’s own credit card is used. Bookings made using a company or agency credit card will not be covered.”
Simmons told Travel Weekly: “We are trying to be clear and transparent. We don’t want to waste people’s time.”