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What is ATOL?

The Air Travel Organisers’ Licensing scheme (ATOL) was first introduced in 1973, to provide financial protection to travellers booking package holidays. By law, UK travel companies must be ATOL holders to create package holidays.

We charge ATOL holders a fee of £2.50 per passenger for every package holiday they sell. We use this to cover the cost of refunding, reimbursing and repatriating travellers that would otherwise be vulnerable if their travel company were to cease trading. The Air Travel Trust looks after this money.

Since 1973, the travel industry has changed considerably and, along with it, ATOL has continually tailored the support that we offer travellers. These changes have always been to better protect travellers booking package trips and have been in response to shifts in the way travel companies sell packages.


Travel companies can use relationships with suppliers to bring together flights, accommodation and other holiday components and create a package, sold at a single price. ATOL covers package holidays sold by UK travel companies and, for us, a package holiday is:

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Some flight-only bookings are ATOL protected, usually if you do not immediately receive a valid ticket in exchange for purchase. Usually, if your flights are ATOL protected, your travel company will advertise this before purchase and should send you an ATOL certificate when you book.

Be aware that not all products sold by ATOL holders will be ATOL protected. Non-UK travel companies must provide financial protection for package holidays. However, this will differ depending on where the company is based.


Travel companies must issue ATOL certificates as soon as you book an ATOL protected package. This certificate will confirm the details of your protection.

atol certifcate

It is important to keep a digital or paper copy of your ATOL certificate while abroad. If your travel company were to cease trading, your certificate will provide guidance on what action you need to take to continue your trip or submit a claim.

More detailed information can be found in the Air Travel Trust Payment Policy.

There are three kinds of ATOL Certificate:

For trips sold up to midnight 30 June 2018

Flight inclusive package
Download PDF: sample Flight inclusive package Certificate
Flight-Plus sale
Download PDF: sample Flight-Plus Certificate
ATOL protected Flight-Only
Download PDF: sample ATOL protected Flight Only Certificate

For trips sold on or after 1 July 2018

Package Single Contract
Download PDF: sample Package – Single Contract Certificate
Package Multi Contract
Download PDF: sample Package – Multi Contract Certificate
ATOL protected Flight Only
Download PDF: sample ATOL Protected Flight Only Certificate