ATOL stands for Air Travel Organiser's Licence. It is a government-run financial protection scheme operated by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).
ATOL covers package holidays that include flights, and some flight only sales.
If the travel arrangements you buy are ATOL protected, you will receive an ATOL Certificate from your travel company at the time you make your payment, and you will need to keep the certificate safe.
ATOL cover means that if the ATOL protected company fails and your holiday can no longer go ahead you will be entitled to a refund if you are yet to travel, and hotel costs and flights home if you are abroad.
ATOL is a financial protection scheme, it does not provide other assistance if there are other problems with your holiday.
Flights booked directly with airlines are not protected under the ATOL scheme.
For more information on ATOL or the ATOL certificate, visit the CAA website.