ATOL (Air Travel Organisers' Licensing) is government scheme designed to protect the public from losing money or being stranded abroad because of the failure of air travel firms. The Scheme is managed by the Civil Aviation Authority and is a respected protection scheme for "air holidays". ATOL Protection covers customers who book and pay in the United Kingdom.
If a firm goes bust, the CAA will refund you - if you are abroad they can arrange for you to continue your holiday and fly home.
If you're booking your own flights & accommodation check when you're on-line to see that your air holiday is ATOL protected. If you are booking through a tour operator or travel agent check to see that your air holiday is ATOL protected. Each ATOL bonded travel agent, tour operator or on-line agent has their own special number so it's easy to check whether your air holiday is included in the scheme.
Consumer Protection Group,
Civil Aviation Authority,
K3 CAA House,