The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has recently announced that it will extend ATOL protection for any new Refund Credit Notes (RCNs) issued up until the end of March.

The original deadline for providers to issue a RCN for cancelled ATOL trips was due to expire on Sunday, January 31 2021. However, as a result of the ongoing travel restrictions and Covid-19 cases, the CAA has decided to extend the amount of time providers have until March 31st.

This means that consumers whose package holidays are cancelled in the coming months will be able to accept a RCN, should they wish. Of course, customers remain entitled to a cash refund if they do not want to accept a RCN.

It has also been revealed that the CAA is considering extending the current deadline of September 30th for the expiry of RCNs and is currently in discussion with the government on this matter.

A spokesperson from the CAA said: “Currently, all valid refund credit notes issued up to the March 31st will benefit from ATOL protection until the 30th September 2021, at which point government backing for their ATOL protection will cease.”

They went on to reveal: “The Air Travel Trust recognises it is possible that some consumers may not be able to redeem their refund credit notes before this date and is engaging with the government to discuss this issue and how it might best be addressed.”

A RCN should definitely be considered by those who have already paid off their holiday and want something to look forward to in the near future as it offers peace of mind that should the trip not go ahead, you’re fully protected and can get your money back.

However, it’s worth knowing that if you do accept a RCN or similar form of voucher, you won’t be able to submit a claim for cancellation to your travel insurance provider as you will have been offered an alternative method of reimbursement.

For more information on why you cannot claim through your insurance if you have been offered a RCN or voucher, click here. The piece also goes into great detail around the steps you can take to recover your holiday costs if a voucher or credit note is simply not an option.