My travel agency has gone bankrupt, what can I do?



Find out if your reservation will be confirmed

If you haven’t traveled yet, your first action should be to contact the travel agent to make sure your reservation is in place. If the travel agency you booked with goes bankrupt, this shouldn’t affect your travel plans.

If you cannot reach them, contact your tour operator or accommodation / flight provider to verify that they have your reservation.

If your reservation is in progress, your travel arrangements should not be affected. It is important to keep all your reservation information and to record your correspondence.

You can contact the ABTA Claims Inquiries Office for advice and assistance.

To warn

Best advice: check with multiple companies

If a travel agency or travel agency goes bankrupt, it is always best to check in several places to see if your reservation can be made.

  • If your travel agency goes bankrupt, contact your tour operator, accommodation provider and / or flight / airline provider.
  • If you booked through a travel agent and your tour operator goes bankrupt, contact your agent for assistance.
  • If you made a reservation with a company that has ceased operations and that company is a member of ABTA, you may be able to make a financial claim.

Find out if your reservation is covered

Atol protection applies to most overseas air travel booked with UK travel agencies.

If you are covered by Atol, your travel agency must have given you an Atol certificate when you made your reservation.

Read our guide on how to know if your vacation is protected by Atol, if you are not sure.

Package travel

The Package Travel and Related Travel Arrangements Regulations 2018 require tour operators to protect your money and bring you home if necessary.

  • A package trip is when you book more than part of your vacation through the same travel agency or website.

If the company with which you have booked one or the other is a member of the Air travel organizer license (Atol) plan, your money will be protected.

Related travel arrangements

  • A linked travel arrangement is when you purchase part of your vacation and then are prompted to purchase another part via a click within 24 hours.

Linked travel arrangements are not covered by Atol but benefit from other insolvency protections.

Key information

Will my package holidays still be covered after Brexit?

You will still have the same rights and protections on your post-Brexit package holidays, unless the government decides to change the law in the future.

Read our guide on how Brexit could impact consumer rights for more information.

How to make an Atol claim

You can make a claim under the plan if:

  • You have booked a trip that you need to do in the future, but the Atol holder has since gone out of business.
  • The Atol holder has stopped trading while you are abroad resulting in your trip being interrupted or your flight back to the UK canceled

Make an Atol complaint for a future reservation

If you received an Atol certificate when you booked, read it carefully – it explains who is protecting your trip and what to do.

You will need to establish the type of travel protected by Atol for which you have been booked before completing a claim form.

The information released by the CAA about the defaulting Atol holder will explain the information they need to reimburse you.

As long as your trip is protected, you won’t lose out – CAA always aims to reimburse you for unused Atol-protected portions of your trip.

Make an Atol claim if you are currently abroad

If you received an Atol certificate when you booked, read it carefully – it explains who is protecting your trip and what to do.

The CAA will do everything possible to ensure that you can complete and enjoy your trip without interruption.

Information explaining the arrangements that will be made to enable you to complete your trip and return home can be found on the The last page of the failures of Atol holders of the CAA.

You should select the affected defaulting Atol holder for more details.

If you are having difficulty abroad, call the CAA on +44 (0) 333 103 6350. They will explain the situation to you and discuss your options.

Flight arrangements only

The 2012 Civil Aviation Regulations (Licenses for Air Travel Organizers) are overseen by the CAA and require tour operators who sell flight arrangements only to protect your money and bring you home if necessary.

This protection does not apply to flights purchased directly from an airline.

Flight arrangements only purchased through a travel agent are not always protected by the Atol program. You should always ask.

When travel arrangements are not already protected, most ABTA members will be able to arrange protection using an appropriate insurance policy.

Keep the evidence If a protection program is in place for your money, it is important that you obtain and keep all relevant documents so that you can make a claim for your money if necessary.

Protection of section 75

You may also have a claim against your credit card company under section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974.

To be eligible, you must have paid more than £ 100 for your flights or vacation and used your credit card to book directly with the tour operator or airline. credit card bill.

However, some credit card companies will reimburse you even if you paid through a travel agent and the agent’s name is on your credit card bill.

Alternatively, if the tour operator is a member of ABTA (The Travel Association), your money will be protected by the Association even though the credit card company is also responsible, as long as there is a reservation in place.

Chargeback system

If you paid by debit card, you can also make a claim through the Mastercard and Visa chargeback system.

The Chargeback system allows you to ask your card provider to reverse a transaction on your debit card, or if you spent less than £ 100 on a credit card. Unlike section 75, it is not in law, but it is a program that most banks subscribe to.

Travel insurance

It would also be a good idea to contact your travel insurance company.

Not all travel insurance policies will cover you in the event of a travel agency’s bankruptcy.

Be sure to check the fine print to make sure the policy includes end-vendor failure. This should cover you if the companies you’ve booked through – such as your airline, rental car company, or accommodation provider – fail.

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