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When did you last read your Complaint policy?

Nobody likes complaints. But being prepared and having a clear process is not only good for your staff and business, but it is a mandatory requirement under the ATAS Charter.


Complaints can be time consuming, frustrating and at times ridiculous. Trust us, we’ve seen it all!

As part of the process of gaining initial accreditation, all ATAS Participants submitted a Complaint Handling policy to comply with the requirements of the ATAS Charter. But are all your current staff trained and aware of this process?

It’s important that all staff are aware of your policy and importantly the role that AFTA play as a point of escalation where complaints remain unresolved or a complainant wishes to escalate a matter.

AFTA review complaints by assessing whether an agent has breached its obligations under the ATAS Code of Conduct. In the first instance AFTA will liaise between the parties and attempt a mutual resolution. Ultimately, AFTA will then issue a determination on the complaint and whether a breach has occurred and/or any refund due. The ATAS Compliance Manager may also direct an agent to take particular action to ensure no such action happens in the future.

The decision by AFTA may also be appealed by a complainant to the ATAS Code Compliance Committee (ACCMC). The ACCMC are an independent committee made up of travel representatives and consumer representatives and headed by Chairman Mr Graham McDonald. The ACCMC review all materials and AFTA’s decision and make a final determination.

The process is free to complainants and agents and forms part of the benefit that your ATAS Accreditation provides. It’s a lot simpler to go through us than it is a court or tribunal!

So if a complaint has reached an impasse, recommend to your customer that as a professional ATAS Accredited agent they can escalate a complaint for review by submitting a complaint online via the ATAS consumer website.

Want to know more?

Contact Naomi Menon – Head of Compliance and Operations, AFTA at