‘Click-through’ sales targeted in flight-only Atol plans

Online sales of flights combined with holiday services through linked websites are likely to be brought within the Atol consumer protection scheme.

So-called “click-through” sales will require cover under the proposed flight-plus Atol now under discussion at the Department for Transport, according to Cosmos Holidays litigation manager Susan Deer.

“The DfT believes click-through sales have to be included,” she told an Abta law seminar in London. “The owner of the original website would need to put measures in place to identify customers and purchases. The customer would pay the necessary protection contribution when they make the second purchase.”

Deer suggested the scheme would not just cover flights and accommodation, but could be extended to event tickets and other minor ancillary services.

Price comparison sites that offer flights and other items for sale could also be caught by the scheme, she said.

The DfT also aims to avoid allowing a loophole for retailers where there is a delay between a customer booking a flight and their subsequent purchase of a room or car hire.

Abta and Civil Aviation Authority officials met on Monday to discuss the possible time limit on cover of such purchases by a flight-plus Atol. Abta head of legal services Simon Bunce said a technical solution to tracking click-through bookings appeared possible.

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