May 27, 2024


Imagination at work

Travel giants to ringfence customer deposits to speed up refunds

Firms usually use getaway deposits as a important component of funding their business enterprise. The travel industry lifeboat Atol was established in 1971 to phase in if a organization failed and the cash was dropped.

Ringfencing shopper dollars, a widespread apply in other industries this kind of as banking and gambling, would imply corporations would not be capable to use the cash handed above when booking.

Firms currently reapplying for their annual renewals will have to set up segregated accounts, sources claimed. Providers will be limited to a variety of bookings primarily based on the total of dollars they concur to preserve in belief.

Martin Alcock, a director at the Journey Trade Consultancy, claimed that though there had been plenty of positives to segregating shopper deposits, they had been “not a panacea”. “They can be agonizing to set up, and they tie up a large amount of dollars… A lot of travel corporations will be not able to afford them,” he claimed.

The programs are aimed to also deal with fears that the taxpayer-backed Atol plan is insufficiently capitalised.

Labour MP Meg Hillier, chairman of Parliament’s public accounts committee, claimed: “The flaws in the travel industry product have remaining individuals at the base of the heap for too extensive. When a business enterprise goes bust or a flight or getaway is cancelled, individuals often wrestle to get their tricky-attained dollars back again in any acceptable time.

“A new product that guards buyer dollars is overdue. It will adjust the performing product of a lot of travel corporations but it will offer much-essential buyer protection. The collapse of corporations and Covid have highlighted what can go mistaken.”

The CAA did not remark.