The issue of how travel websites fall under new flight-plus ATOL regulations could remain unclear when reforms are published by the Department of Transport next month.
Changes have been made to bring flights sold with accommodation and/or car-hire within the legislation.
However, according to a travel legal expert current wording is not yet specific enough about websites and online trading and could mean a loop-hole in the reforms.
A DfT Summary of Consultation Responses and Government Decisions document demonstrates the industry's desire for clarity on whether holidays arranged by 'click-throughs' from from one website to another will come under 'flight-plus arranger' definition.
The document also shows the Government's decision:
"Our view is that the broad definition of a Flight-Plus arranger should ensure that a wide range of different holiday arrangements will be covered by the regulations. We believe this includes businesses which pass on a consumers travel dates, destination and other details through to another website."
Sarah Lacy, a partner with travel law specialists TravLaw, believes if the wording remains the same it could be 'a grey area and a potential loop-hole.'
The Government response goes on to say that it, alongside the Civil Aviation Authority, will monitor how this works in practice and address issues if necessary.
The new ATOL regulations are to come into force on April 3o although companies will have until October 2012 to comply.
The CAA is running a series of open days on ATOL reform nationwide from next week until mid-April.
NB: Image courtesy of Shutterstock