Dash to spend £130m of holiday vouchers.
British families are sitting on more than £130 million of unused flight credit vouchers issued after their vacations were cancelled during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The holders of the flight credits have now been told they have until September 2022 to use them.
According to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), when a package holiday is cancelled, tour operators are required by law to provide a cash refund to customers within 14 days.
However, due to fears that scores of companies could go bust if they were forced to pay out during the Covid crisis, thousands of customers were forced to accept flight vouchers instead.
The CAA is now warning those customers that they will no longer be protected by ATOL after September.
“All Refund Credit Notes (RCNs) will need to be redeemed with the issuing ATOL holder for either cash or against a new booking by 30 September 2022,” the CAA explains.
“In the event of an ATOL holder failure, the ATT, subject to the terms of the Payment Policy, will only consider claims for payment of the unredeemed RCNs if the failure occurs on or before 30 September 2022.
“After this date, all RCNs will cease to be ATOL protected.
Michael Budge, head of ATOL, which is run by the CAA, said: “With over £130million of ATOL refund credit notes yet to be redeemed, and international travel opening up again, we want to remind consumers to redeem any unused credits to make sure they do not lose out.
“Refund credit notes have been a fantastic tool to reassure consumers and support the industry.
“The decision to end the scheme reflects the changing of international travel restrictions with significantly increased demand from consumers over recent months due to the opening up of more destinations.”