The CAA is urging the tens of thousands of British football fans planning to head abroad for the Champions League and Europa Cup finals to be vigilant to the dangers of booking without financial protection.
Liverpool, Tottenham, Chelsea and Arsenal have made both the Champions League final in Madrid on 1 June and Europa League final in Baku on 29 May all-English affairs following an incredible season in Europe for the country’s top clubs.
More than 40,000 tickets – 32,000 for the Champions League final and 12,000 for the Europa League final – have gone on sale to British fans.
However, huge demand for flights and accommodation has sparked a backlash against a number of travel firms accused of profiting unduly from those fans willing to travel at great lengths and cost to see their sides, with many others planning to travel to the host cities.
The CAA has warned with flights to Madrid “are highly sought-after” and travel to Baku in Azerbaijan likely complicated by transfers, trains and stopovers in a variety of countries, as well as the need for certain visas, unlawful agents and/or travel sellers will be looking to profit by offering fake package travel deals.
The authority launched a campaign on Tuesday (14 May) urging fans to book through a travel seller offering Atol protection to “ensure fans’ chances of witnessing a historic moment in sport are not ruined by the actions of companies falsely posing as legitimate travel agents”.
Andy Cohen, the CAA’s head of Atol, said: “The dedication and support of football fans is without question.
"As some of the most passionate fans in the world, seeing four English teams in the European finals make these matches a once in a lifetime opportunity for some.
"If fortunate enough to get a ticket, it is essential that travellers check for financial protection before booking their trips.
“Using a reputable travel company is essential but, above and beyond this, it is vitally important that your travel company offers ATOL financial protection when booking as a package.”