Why is this important?
Your holiday company goes out of business
This page explains what you can do if you’re an independent traveller and your holiday company goes out of business.
You’re an independent traveller if you organised your trip yourself, booking flights, accommodation and services separately.
If you are an independent traveller and you booked your flight with your hotel or car hire through the same company, you may have extra protection if the holiday company goes out of business.
Read on to find out more about what you can do.
If you booked a package holiday you will be protected by special regulations. If a company that’s providing accommodation or services goes out of business the package organiser will sort things out.
If you organised your holiday yourself, booking flights, accommodation and services separately then you are an independent traveller.
If you are an independent traveller and you booked your flight with your hotel or car hire through the same company, you may have extra protection if the company goes out of business This is known as Flight-Plus.
This page explains what you can do if you’re an independent traveller and you’re holiday company goes out of business.
Keep important paperwork
If you find out that your holiday company has gone out of business, make sure you keep all receipts and confirmation documents. If you booked through a travel agent you should have a receipt from them as well as confirmation documents from the company that was providing the accommodation or service. You will need this paperwork if you make a claim to get your money back.
Did you book your flight with your hotel or car hire?
If you booked your flight with your hotel or car hire through the same company, other than through an airline or airline website, this is known as ‘Flight-Plus’. The company you book with should hold an ATOL (Air Travel Organisers Licence) which gives you protection if they go out of business.
You will also be protected if the airline, hotel or car hire company involved in your booking goes out of business. The ATOL holder has to replace the service or provide you with a full refund. This applies whether you booked online, in the high street or over the phone.
Did you pay by credit or debit card?
If you didn’t book a Flight-Plus holiday, but you paid for your accommodation or service using your credit card, you may be able to claim your money back from your credit card company. Under consumer law, your credit card company is jointly responsible if you don’t get the holiday you were promised. As long as the whole price of your accommodation or service was more than £100 and not more than £30,000 you will be covered even if you only paid a small deposit by credit card. For example if your holiday villa costs £1,500 and you paid a £50 deposit by credit card you will be covered.
If you paid using your debit card you may be able to ask the card provider to give you your money back through the Chargeback scheme.
Be aware that you can only claim for the lost service. Other services bought with it would probably not be refundable.
Do you have travel insurance?
If you have travel insurance you may be able to make a claim on your policy for the money you have lost. Check the terms and conditions of your travel insurance policy and contact the insurance company as soon as you realise there’s a problem.
Was your holiday company a member of a trade association?
If the company was a member of a trade association like The Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) or The Association of Independent Tour Operators (AITO) you may be able to get help from the association. Some associations operate bonding schemes to help customers when members go out of business. Check your travel documents for a logo or information about a trade association.
Negotiate with a receiver or liquidator
Your final option is to negotiate with the receiver or liquidator of the company that has gone out of business.
- What to do if your airline goes out of business
- What to do if your package holiday organiser goes out of business
- If the company was in Europe outside the UK The European Consumer Centre may be able help. You can phone their advice line on 08456 04 05 03 or visit their website, www.ukecc.net
- If you need more help
Other useful information
Holiday trade associations who may be able to help
Telephone: 0901 201 5050
Telephone: 020 8744 9280
Civil Aviation Authority (CAA)
If you need more help with how to resolve a dispute .