Your rights if an airline or travel company goes bust varies depending on your circumstances.
Things can get more complicated if you have booked a package holiday with a firm that has gone bust, as they usually pay for your flights immediately on receipt of your booking and for the hotel 30 days later.
You will need to decide if you want to proceed with your flights and try to arrange your accommodation separately or try to arrange for your flights to be changed. You can book your hotel again, keep receipts and try to submit a claim in due course.
PACKAGE HOLIDAYS – AGENT OR INTERMEDIARY
If you have booked a flight and hotel together via the holiday company, this was bought as a package therefore there is a direct link to the holiday company which validates your claim.
The Package Travel and Linked Travel Arrangements 2018 covers this and stipulates that you are protected and repatriated home if necessary.
If you used the holiday company to simply book a hotel and you booked your flights separately, then the holiday company acted as an agent / intermediary.
Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974 may not work as there is no direct link between you and the hotel.
This is what the credit card provider may use to reject your claim if it falls in that remit, so be prepared for a rejection and submit a claim to the Financial Ombudsman Service. This is a free and impartial adjudicator, and they usually give a decision within 8 weeks of receipt.
FLIGHT ONLY ARRANGEMENTS
This does not apply if you have booked your flights directly with the airline.
PAYING BY CREDIT CARD
If you have paid by a credit card (even if it is just 1p or a deposit), you can submit a claim against the credit card provider under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974 as the credit card provider is jointly and severally liable when things go wrong with retailers.
PAYING BY DEBIT CARD
If you have used a debit card, you can submit a chargeback claim within 120 days of the date that your holiday was due to commence. This is not a legal requirement by the card providers or banks, although it is worth trying.
Travel insurance policies may cover the failure of a travel firm, although it’s doubtful unless you have specifically requested this. Check your policy and the small print carefully.
REGISTERING AS A CREDITOR
Registering as a creditor is usually a fruitless exercise as you are bottom of the heap when it comes to being paid any monies due.
Have you been affected by an airline or travel company going bust? If so, what was the outcome?