On the Beach chief executive Simon Cooper has called for so-called "refund credit notes" (RCNs) to be scrapped and for consumers with outstanding credit notes to be given cash refunds.
Cooper’s comments come after the CAA last week confirmed it was in talks with the government over extending the deadline for issuing new RCNs beyond 31 March, and their expiry date.
RCNs were introduced last year as a contingency measure, allowing firms to effectively defer cash refunds as pipeline monies fail to flow quickly back down to travel sellers and onwards to consumers.
It was feared that without widespread adoption of RCNs, many more travel firms would have been placed under financial pressures likely to have resulted in their failure owing to the statutory requirement under package travel rules to refund customers within 14 days.
On the Beach on Monday (22 March) called for the CAA to take steps to reassure holidaymakers they can book with confidence and that the challenges dating to the early stages of the Covid crisis had been addressed.
CAA chair Stephen Hillier recently addressed the UK Aviation Club, stressing consumers would be at the forefront of a consultation on the future of the Atol scheme. He added lessons had been learned from the crisis.
Said Cooper: "Extending the refund credit note deadline only kicks the can down the road. From travel companies increasing their prices to rebook the same holiday and leaving consumers with no option to shop around, to lack of clarity on the terms and conditions, and the likelihood of some people forgetting to redeem them altogether, these vouchers are not in the best interests of consumers."