Thursday 5 January 2017

What To Do If Your Travel Agent Goes Bankrupt


Budget holidays are more popular than ever, with sunny beach breaks a favourite among UK holidaymakers.

But, after the collapse of All Leisure Holidays and lowcostholidays left thousands of Brits empty handed, it’s important to safeguard your holiday so you can avoid a similar fate.

Follow the handy FAQ to find out what you could do if your travel agent goes bust, and learn how you can make sure you don’t end up out of pocket if things come to the worst.

How can I protect myself?

The first step you can take to protect yourself when booking a holiday is to ensure your travel provider has ATOL protection.

The Civil Aviation Authority advises that booking a holiday without ATOL insurance puts your money at risk.

If you are on holiday without protection and your travel agent goes bust, you may be liable to pay your own way home.

And, even if it collapses before your trip, you are equally unlikely to receive any form of refund.

This can be avoided by looking for the ATOL logo when you book.


Alternatively, you can also use the ‘Check an ATOL’ facility to make sure your money is locked down.

What does ATOL protection do?

ATOL protection means you won’t lose money if your firm goes bust, whilst also providing assistance in continuing holidays and returning home – as well as offering a full refund for holidays not received.

It is also useful to check if your booking agent is associated with ABTA or AITO, who can provide claim support, advice and protection to package holiday customers.

Can I get my money back?

If you don’t have ATOL protection and are on holiday at the time of the collapse, your flight home will still be reserved, but it is likely you will have to fork out to cover the cost of the airfare.

However, if you paid between £100 and £30,000 for the holiday on your credit card, your bank is jointly liable under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act, so you may be able to claim money back.

You may also be able to get your money back if you paid by debit card via Chargeback – an agreement between card providers to refund customers when a company goes bust or an item is not delivered.

If your package holiday is covered by ATOL protection, the provider will guarantee to cover your return home or to refund any cost of the trip not received, so it is advised to contact your travel agent in this case.

What about gift vouchers or insurance?

Unfortunately, it is unlikely that gift vouchers will still be valid once a company has gone into administration, although MoneySavingExpert suggests you can look into making a chargeback claim.

Travel insurance is unlikely to protect you as they usually don’t cover in the eventuality of a firm going bust.

Most holiday insurance providers won’t pay out unless they have a specific travel firm failure cover, but it is useful to check your policy and discuss this with your insurance provider.



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