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'The magic word is package'

Bowen said while traditional package organisers appeared to be “coping well”, those previously selling so-called “flight plus” arrangements had faced a more difficult transition.

“Some appear to have made no change at all,” said Bowen. “I came across a set of booking conditions last week that still warned if you bought flight plus product, there was no liability if things went wrong.

“One issue, I suspect, is the CAA’s decision to create a 'multi-contract package' Atol certificate, which some businesses seem to think gets them completely off the hook when things go wrong, much like flight plus. Legally, of course, it doesn’t, the magic word is 'package'.”

Bowen added there was still widespread confusion around Linked Travel Arrangements (LTA), a new booking category introduced by the new PTRs.

“If customers are told what an LTA really is, I can’t see any reason for them to buy one as opposed to a package," said Bowen. "And if the seller doesn’t explain it, then it defaults to being a package anyway.”

Abta said it had engaged with BEIS to help develop its guidance and communicate it to members, while assisting them through training, seminars and regional meetings to better understand how the new PTRs affect their business and providing ongoing phone and email support.

A Department for Transport spokesperson told TTG it was supporting the review, but stressed the process was being led by BEIS.

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