You may be excited about jetting off to far away destinations when something happens – your travel company goes broke. Even worse is when the airline you were supposed to travel with goes broke while you’re on holiday. Your head may be filled with the fear of being stranded overseas with no way of getting home.
Before panicking and giving up hope, take out your tickets to get more information about it. It may be clearly pointing out what happens to your holiday coverage in such a scenario depending on where and how you booked your tickets. Once back home, you can file claim for flight delay refunds to ensure that the airline pays you for the inconvenience caused.
Holiday packages booked through travel agents
If a UK travel agent or tour operator books you a package holiday that needs you to fly with the airline that turned broke, you are covered by Air Travel Organisers’ Licensing (ATOL) protection. It means you are entitled to flight delay claims:
- When you are abroad and your travel agency shuts down. In this case, alternative travel routes will be created for you to get home
- If you are travelling overseas and the airline you booked your tickets with goes bust, your travel company will make specific travel arrangements for you to get home.
- If you haven’t left for your trip and your travel agency declares bankruptcy, you are eligible to receive a full refund.
- If you are yet to travel and the airline you were supposed to be flying with declares bankruptcy, the tour operator must offer you a full refund or help you with an alternate travel plan for your holiday.
You can check which travel operators have ATOL protection on the Civil Aviation Authority website. The industry recognizes package holidays as those packages comprising two or more facilities, such as hotel and flight. If only a flight has been booked with a travel agent, the amount of cover available to you will differ.
Booking flights via travel agents
You stand a strong chance of claiming flight delay compensation by booking travel arrangements through UK travel agencies. However, only specific flight packages are covered in such case.
Your flights stand to be covered if they are booked via travel agents under the protection of ATOL or if you receive an official ATOL receipt during the payment. Your flight probably will not be covered by ATOL if your flights were booked outside an ATOL protected travel agency or if you did not receive an official ATOL receipt. You will only be able to claim european flight delay compensation if your flight was booked by an ATOL protected travel agent.
Booking flights with the airline directly
If you pay for flights directly to the airline that goes bankrupt, you will not be eligible for travel protection. Sadly, it means that you stand to lose your money and will need to organise your own ways of getting back to the UK. However, you could still reclaim your money lost via the various options available:
- Paying for flights via credit or debit card – your credit card company will be able to reimburse you your lost airline ticket if you paid using your card. You would need to place a claim under Section 75 under Consumer Credit Act and follow the procedure.
- If you took travel insurance – The cost of your flights could be reclaimed from your travel insurance provider if you bought travel insurance. You would need to read the terms and conditions of the insurance company’s policy to know whether your protection can give help you with your fight delay claims.
Stay knowledgeable about the industry and soon that faraway holiday will seem doubly enjoyable.