Using the analogy of Premiership football when it comes to the CAA and court hearings and appeals, the CAA would be Portsmouth! How many times can you go to court in less than five years and lose? How much tax payers money has been spent in fighting what from the outset always appeared losing causes? Presumably given the latest ruling they will also be paying the defendant’s costs too!!
I was a presenter at the ABTA/Law Society annual seminar two years ago when one of the lawyers there reviewed the Travel Republic terms and conditions on screen. Afterwards I canvassed all of the travel lawyers present and could not find one of them that thought Travel Republic were contravening the ATOL regulations. Sometimes entities will drag around their interpretation of the law until they find someone that will give them the answer they want to hear!
Nevertheless I do believe the CAA acted in good faith and were attempting to regulate within the confines of the remit given to them by Government. The CAA have not been dealt a good hand by Government I am afraid and are now protecting and regulating seriously flawed and out of date legislation. Rather than conducting a stream of appeals the CAA should be concentrating their efforts on “Flight Plus” and changes in legislation which make the ATOL regulations clear and unequivocal and that provide meaningful Consumer Protection.
Where to from here? One desperately hopes the CAA will call an end to this and will not refer the matter to The Supreme Court. It is my understanding that this would not be straightforward for them to do anyway. A fair implementation of the “Flight Plus” proposals, factoring in thoughtful and telling responses from the trade and allowing time for companies that have not broken the law, such as Travel Republic, to meet fair and consistent financial criteria and regulation, has to be the way forward.