Refund Credit Notes issued until 31 March 2021 will now be protected, the CAA has confirmed.
Atol protection to RCNs had previously been extended to 31 December 2020 and then to 31 January 2021, with a third extension now confirmed.
As it stands, all valid refund credit notes issued up to the 31 March 2021 will benefit from Atol protection until 30 September 2021, when government backing for their Atol protection will cease. Consumers continue to remain entitled to a cash refund should they not wish to accept RCNs.
As before, RCNs are only protected where the original booking was Atol-protected. Bookings must have been cancelled by the tour operator due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Air Travel Trust said it recognised “that depending on future developments it is possible that some consumers may not be able to redeem their refund credit notes before this date and is engaging with the government to discuss this issue and how it might best be addressed”.
Paul Smith, CAA consumer director, said “We recognise that changes to government restrictions on travel have an unprecedented effect on Atol-holders and on consumers with Atol-protected bookings. In light of these circumstances, we have extended Atol protection for refund credit notes.
“This will allow for travel companies to offer their customers refund credit notes in good faith and mean that consumers will not be at financial risk if they choose to accept a refund credit note rather than a cash refund.”