What should I do if my holiday company goes bust?

It’s a shock to find out your holiday provider is no longer in business – especially if you’re on your trip when it goes bust. Here are some steps you can take if this happens to you.

Wouter Van Rijn From the Travel team
3
minute read
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You’ve not travelled

Call your holiday provider’s customer services and seek immediate advice. If you don’t get an answer, check if the firm has said anything on social media, such as Twitter or Facebook. Then try to get in touch with your airline and accommodation provider. Check if your payment’s been taken and whether or not they can honour your booking. If your airline is ATOL (Air Travel Organiser’s Licence) protected, you should either get a refund or be found alternative flights.  

If you’ve booked a package holiday, you should be able to claim a refund through ABTA, which is the Association of British Travel Agents. While ATOL covers flight-based holidays, ABTA tends to deal with rail, cruise and driving package holidays.

If you’ve arranged your accommodation yourself and the provider – such as the hotel – goes bust, you may be able to claim on your travel insurance. This is why it’s always good idea to buy insurance when you book your trip.

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You’re on holiday

Start by checking if you have ATOL protection. Having this cover in place can stop you losing your money, or being stranded abroad, if the company you booked a package holiday with goes bust. Under UK law, every travel company that sells holidays and flights needs to hold ATOL.

If you booked a package without ATOL protection, you’ll need to get in touch with your travel insurance provider to find out if you can start a claim.

Did you book with a credit card? 

If you booked your trip with a credit card – call your credit card provider, as you may be able to get a refund thanks to section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act. To make a claim, you’ll need to have paid more than £100 (and less than £30,000) for your holiday and/or flights and booked directly with the package provider or airline.  

If you paid by debit card, you might be able to reverse the transaction through the Mastercard and Visa Chargeback scheme, which most high-street banks are part of.

Check if you’re covered by travel insurance

If you’ve booked independently of a holiday package provider, and have a travel insurance policy with End Supplier Failure, you may be able to claim back the cost of your holiday if, say, a hotel or airline goes into administration.  

If you’re going on a package holiday, you’d typically fall within the scope of the ATOL scheme.

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