You may have come across the term “ATOL Protection” when booking a holiday, without much explanation of what it is. Whether you’ve seen the logo on a travel agent’s website or heard the term somewhere else, it’s useful to know what it’s about. Here are some answers to common questions about ATOL protection.

What does ATOL stand for?

ATOL stands for Air Traveller Organisers License.

What does ATOL protected mean?

ATOL protected means your holiday is safe when you book with a travel company in the UK. If your travel company collapses while you are abroad it means you will not lose any money or become stranded anywhere.

What if my travel agent isn’t ATOL protected?

ATOL is backed by the government, making it a legal requirement for all travel agents. You should always book with a company with ATOL protection.

How can I tell if the company is protected by ATOL?

There are a few ways you can be sure. Check the website or brochure for the ATOL logo, and also look out for a 4 digit number showing they are registered. Secondly, when you book your holiday you should get a certificate outlining your ATOL cover. See what this looks like on the ATOL website.

What does ATOL cover?

Any overseas air holiday booked with a UK travel company should be protected. Flights, accommodation (including cruises) and car hire are all covered. ATOL does not apply to flights booked with scheduled airlines or accommodation booked direct.

How do I make a claim?

If you are on holiday and you fear your travel company has collapsed, ATOL will make sure you can complete your holiday and arrive home as planned. Try to get online and check the latest information on the ATOL website.  Here you’ll find a list of companies that have recently closed and details of what to do.

You can also call +44 (0) 20 7453 6350 where you’ll be able to discuss your options. Usually you will be asked to fill in a claim form and send your tickets or receipts, just to double check you are covered.


What happens if an airline fails – am I covered by ATOL?

Your travel company are legally obliged to find you different flights or refund you, unless you are waiting for a return flight home, in which case you they must provide you with an alternative flight.

Written by Laura Millyard on behalf of, the online travel specialists who are ATOL registered. If you have any questions regarding ATOL protection or Canada holidays, feel free to get in touch.