Continued from page 40 “We mothballed the business

and looked at ways to inject cash through a CBILS loan or funds from shareholders or other investors. We were unsuccessful in our CBILS application and our options started to narrow.” Going into July, he said:

“We required a loan from the shareholders which was not forthcoming.” He downplayed the impact

of UK quarantine restrictions introduced from June 8, saying: “The timing was purely to do with fiduciary [legal] duty. Once the doors close to funding, you have to make a decision. As a director, your responsibility shifts to creditors. We had to decide.” Jackson insisted: “Coming

out [of lockdown] was always going to be difficult. We knew short-haul would open up. We were working with key hoteliers and felt the hotel side would be fixed. “There was concern about

the holiday experience, as not everything would be open, and about travel insurance, but we weren’t too vexed about the product.” Overall, he said: “We foresaw

a short, V-shaped recovery then [business] flatlining.” Jackson said: “No one

wanted it to come to this. Sixty staff lost their jobs in very difficult circumstances. “We had good hotel

relationships and it affects the hotels. We had 6,500 bookings and a lot of loyal customers.” Jackson hopes to return to

travel, but plans to do nothing for a period, saying: “My life has been in the industry, but it has been an exceptionally tiring and stressful four months. I plan to take a breather.”

Shapps hails CAA for ‘boosting trust in the travel sector’

Transport secretary Grant Shapps declared the government’s confirmation of Atol-protection for refund credit notes would “boost consumer trust in the travel sector”. He said: “We want to send

a clear message to passengers that they can book their summer holidays with confidence.” The Department for Transport

38 23 JULY 2020 The CAA is

protecting RCNs issued between March 10 and September 30

confirmed: “Passengers who accept refund credit notes for cancelled holidays as a result of Covid-19 will be protected by the Atol scheme even if the company they have booked with later collapses.” Martin Lewis, founder of, said: “This is a key travel intervention we’ve been calling for. It’s far from a cure-all, but the fact the government will effectively underwrite refund credit notes gives a solid bedrock of security for customers willing to take them. “The pandemic has been

devastating for the industry and

CAA states refund right as it finally backs RCNs

Ian Taylor

The CAA issued guidance on refund credit notes on Saturday following the government’s confirmation that the notes are protected under Atol. It confirmed Atol protection for

refund credit notes (RCNs) issued between March 10 and September 30 this year, noting that if a consumer chose to accept an RCN “they should have the option to convert it to a cash refund at any point and must do so before September 30, 2021”. The CAA confirmed RCNs

should be issued by the Atol-holder named on the Atol Certificate, not exceed the value of the original Atol-protected booking, be directly linked to that booking and make clear the value excluding any incentives or payments made separately. The RCN should also make clear it can be exchanged for cash at any time and no later than September 30, 2021. The CAA noted Atol protection

will not apply to RCNs issued for payments not covered by Air Travel Trust payment policy, such as a payment with a voucher; to bookings not normally covered by Atol, such

as accommodation-only bookings; or to extras booked separately to the Atol-protected booking. It will also not apply “currently”

to refund credit notes issued after September 30 this year. The CAA advises consumers to

keep all the original documentation for an Atol-protected booking, including the Atol Certificate, proof of payment and booking documents. It advises consumers concerned that a RCN they have received does not meet the Atol-protection criteria to contact their travel company. CAA consumer director Paul

Smith said: “This provides much- needed clarity for consumers.” But he noted: “Consumers are entitled to a cash refund and must be offered this option at the same time as a refund credit note or booking amendment.” The guidance largely mirrors

Abta’s guidelines on RCNs issued in April. Abta was updating its guidance this week to refer to the CAA release. Travel Weekly understands the CAA guidance had been drafted for weeks.

Grant Shapps

travellers. Taking an Atol credit refund note if you’re likely to rebook shows welcome forbearance and flexibility, and the fact that if you don’t use it the note can be exchanged for cash gives peace of mind.”

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