ABTA Consumer Protection MPs Survey
A survey of MPs on behalf of ABTA.
MPs Overwhelmingly Believe Holidays Sold by Airlines should be in ATOL
Eight out of Ten MPs want to see ATOL cover extended, new Research for ABTA Reveals
Ahead of tomorrow’s House of Commons’ debate on ATOL reform, ABTA today revealed new research* showing strong cross-party support for the Government to bring holidays sold by airlines into the ATOL scheme of financial protection. The research shows that eight out of ten (81%) MPs agree or agree strongly that ‘airline holiday sales should be included within the UK’s scheme for consumer protection’.
MPs from all parties support extended consumer protection, with 93% of Liberal Democrats, 91% of Labour MPs, and 63% of Conservatives supportive.
The House of Commons debate will focus on the Transport Select Committee’s report, which recommends that airline holiday sales should be included in the ATOL scheme. The report was published in April 2012, when Flight Plus and other ATOL reforms were introduced, and states that fundamental reform of ATOL is needed and that the changes introduced by the Government do not go far enough. The Debate in Westminster Hall will be a further opportunity for MPs to call for comprehensive consumer protection reform ensuring that the anomaly whereby airline holiday sales are not regulated in the same way as all other holidays is resolved.
ABTA estimates that 38% of the public travelling on flight-based holidays remain unprotected by the ATOL scheme of financial protection. Including holidays sold by airlines within the ATOL scheme would both help reduce consumer confusion and ensure more travellers are protected.
Mark Tanzer ABTA Chief Executive said: “For too long, successive Governments have left millions of people travelling without financial protection whilst at the same time allowing airlines an undeserved commercial advantage over their competitors. This is grossly unfair to consumers and to large sections of the travel industry.
“There is strong cross-party support to bring airlines into the ATOL scheme and we welcome the support from the Transport Select Committee in achieving this. The only voices raised against bringing airline holiday sales into the ATOL scheme are the airlines themselves, keen on maintaining the status quo. The Civil Aviation Bill will soon be law, and with that, the Government will have the power to take action to finally remedy this unacceptable and illogical state of affairs. With MPs onside, the Government must seize this opportunity. ”
*ComRes surveyed 150 MPs on the ComRes Parliamentary Panel between 22nd May and 22nd June 2012 by self-completion postal questionnaire and online. Data was weighted to reflect the exact composition of the House of Commons in terms of party representation and regional constituency distribution.